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Parents' shock at Pc who bought porn on their TV as he guarded son's body

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The father of a teenage boy who took his own life spoke of his shock today after discovering a police officer bought pornography while guarding the child’s dead body.

Pc Avi Maharaj, 44, used Graham and Alison Miller’s cable television account to purchase adult movies in the hours after the death of their 14-year-old son Harry.

When the devout Christian couple received the Virgin TV bill and noticed four purchases for a total of £25.96, they initially feared their son had bought the videos himself.

It was only when Mr Miller, 47, checked with Virgin that he discovered the pornography had been accessed late at night, hours after his son’s death on February 11 last year.

Mr Miller, chief executive of the London City Mission charity, told the Evening Standard: “I only saw the cable TV bill a few weeks after Harry’s death and it seemed very weird and left me deeply disturbed.

“I originally thought it was Harry who had made the charge. It left me full of worry about Harry’s frame of mind, as it was completely out of character. It then struck me that the only people there were the emergency services.” 

Pc Maharaj was on duty alone at the Millers’ £1.2 million home in Earlsfield, south-west London, and at least two of the TV purchases are believed to have been made while Harry’s body was still in the house awaiting the undertaker. 

The officer used a generic PIN code, which the family had not changed, to purchase the pornography, and is suspected of later amending his log to try to cover his tracks.

Pc Maharaj, of Hayes, pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation at Westminster magistrates’ court this week, following an eight-month investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct. 

Mr Miller said: “We don’t know what drove Pc Maharaj to behave the way he did, but we do know that too many Londoners struggle with all kinds of addictions to things like pornography, gambling, drugs, and we long for the day that society would take these issues more seriously.

“We have received a full apology from the Metropolitan Police for the actions of Pc Maharaj and we forgive the police service and Avi completely.”

Harry, who was a Year 10 pupil at  St Cecilia’s School in Southfields,  had been suffering from mental health issues at the time of his death and was on a waiting list to receive treatment.

Paying tribute to his son, Mr Miller added: “Harry was the most gifted, brilliant, loving big brother and son.  He had strong political values and always wanted to stand up for the underdog.”

The teenager had recently come top of his year in maths and received an A*grade at GCSE Chinese at the age of 13. 

“As a family we continue to grieve the death of Harry with an almost overwhelming sense of loss,” Mr Miller added. 

“We want to turn our strength of feeling about the loss of Harry to some practical effect. Youth mental health must be taken more seriously by both central and local government, schools, and society as a whole.”

The Met said the officer was now on restricted duties and that misconduct proceedings would take place following the conclusion of criminal proceedings. He is due to be sentenced on August 6.

For confidential support, call Samaritans on 116 123, or email  jo@samaritans.org

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