Convicted paedophile Oliver Horwood loses job at McDonald's amid tabloid report
PUBLISHED: 15:36 10 July 2017 | UPDATED: 08:59 11 July 2017
The 20-year-old was pictured in The Sun on Monday
A convicted paedophile who was pictured working at a Gravesend McDonald’s has lost his job, the fast-food giant confirmed today.
Oliver James Horwood, 20, was photographed by The Sun serving up happy meals to children and other customers, just months after he admitted to charges of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, inciting a child to engage in sexual exploitation and making indecent images.
All of the offences took place between July 2012 and September 2014, and he was first arrested over the incidents in June 2015.
In October, Horwood, originally from Dartford, was sentenced to 16-months in prison, but has been released early.
When approached, Horwood reportedly told The Sun that the restaurant knew everything about his previous convictions, with a family member reportedly later telling the tabloid “he’s a good worker”.
But following an international investigation, a McDonald’s spokesperson told us: “McDonald’s and its franchisees have strict policies in place when it comes to recruiting employees and matters such as this are taken extremely seriously. We can confirm that an investigation was carried out immediately and that the individual no longer works at McDonald’s.”
Following his conviction last year, detective constable Mark Bennett said: “Horwood aggressively bullied and manipulated a child online to fulfil his own desires. He has now been brought to justice for this and in doing so we have been able to protect children from him.
“I would urge anyone who is suffering at the hands of people like Horwood to tell someone they trust. Kent Police will investigate with sensitivity and will do anything possible to protect children and bring offenders to justice.”
A spokesperson from NSPCC said: “Horwood deceived and exploited young girls into engaging in sexual activity with the sole aim of creating indecent images.
“These are images of abuse plain and simple and he used them to blackmail them into further sexual activity.
“Hopefully the sentence will enable his victims to move on and encourage others to come forward and expose online predators. They will need support to move on from their experiences but with the right help they can move past it.
“If anyone is worried about a child they can call the NSPCC helpline for advice on 0800 800 5000. Children can call Childline for free, 24 hours-a-day on 0800 1111 or visit www.childline.org.uk.”