Ex-policeman jailed for schoolgirl sex abuse

A FORMER police officer has been jailed for sexual offences committed against a schoolgirl he met on a work-related visit.

Lawrence Dunn was found guilty of eight sexual offences against a teenage girl at Taunton Crown Court on October 4.

And today (Thurs) he was jailed at Exeter Crown Court for eight years and forced to sign the sex offenders register.

The 48-year-old was a police community support officer (PCSO) for Avon and Somerset Constabulary before resigning in 2008 as investigations began into his conduct.

The Crown Prosecution Service said Dunn had met the girl during a routine school visit.

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Last month the ex-PCSO was found guilty of six charges of sexual activity with a girl under the age of 16 and two of three charges of attempted sexual activity involving the same victim.

On sentencing, Judge Erik Salomonsen said: “Dunn’s victim was vulnerable and there was a significant age gap between them. His actions were of the highest and grossest breach of trust.

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“Dunn’s task and responsibility as a PCSO was to protect this young girl and he did not.”

Detective Constable Rebecca Maddison praised the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, for speaking out.

She said: “The court heard compelling evidence at this trial which highlighted the gross abuse of his position of trust.

“He had every opportunity to plead guilty following this investigation - instead he put his victim through the trauma of a trial.

“It is important to make clear that whilst Dunn resigned from his post in 2008 when investigations into his conduct began, he was in post as a PCSO when the crimes were committed.

“However at this time the victim did not disclose that any offences had taken place therefore the investigation could not be taken any further.

“It is down to the victim’s courage and bravery to speak about the abuse she suffered at the hands of Dunn, that he has been brought to justice for his offences and handed a sentence that reflects the severity of his actions.

“This sentence sends out a clear message to all that behaviour like this will not be tolerated.”

Dunn, of Axbridge Road, Burnham, underwent the customary vetting procedures before taking up his role, according to a police spokesman.

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