Married PCSO who slept with vulnerable women while he was on duty is jailed for seven years

March 19, 2013 | by | 0 Comments

A married PCSO who put his “sexual appetite before public duty” to bed four women while on duty was jailed for seven years.

Peter Bunyan, 40, used the police database as a “dating agency” to track down phone numbers and addresses of attractive women on his beat.

The father-of-two had affairs with four vulnerable women before and during his policing shift – sleeping with one lover up to ten times when he was on duty.

Police community support officer Peter Bunyan

Police community support officer Peter Bunyan outside court

Bunyan in uniform. He slept with women while on duty

Bunyan in uniform. He slept with women while on duty

He even seduced one woman at a neighbourhood policing unit as he worked a late shift on a housing estate in Cornwall in 2009.

Bunyan admitted wasting police time but insisted he had not neglected his duty because he kept his radio on during the trysts while working for Devon and Cornwall police.

The former car park worker denied 12 charges of misconduct in a public office but was found guilty of eight counts following a three week trial at Taunton Crown Court in Somerset.

He was convicted of sleeping with four women and illegally accessing data relating to three lovers on the Criminal Information System.

Bunyan, who joined Devon and Cornwall police in 2003, was also found guilty of accessing the system to look up the details of a man without reason.

Yesterday, his honour Judge Graham Hume Jones jailed Bunyan for seven years at Taunton Crown Court – telling the officer he had taken advantage of his profession.

The judge said: “You took advantage of your professional relationship and having heard that evidence I am satisfied that you targeted vulnerable women to indulge your own sexual appetite.

“You were even bold enough and arrogant enough to take a woman to a local police office and engage in sexual intercourse with her there.

“You conducted these relationships while on duty and you should have been available to take calls. There was evidence you deliberately chose to neglect calls on your radio.

“You also indulged in sexual texting while on duty, indicating that your attention was focuses on your sexual appetite rather than on your public duty.

“You contested this case and it is difficult to reconcile that with your present expression of remorse and apology.

“You put the witnesses through the indignity of speaking about these matters and being called liars.

“Misconduct by a member of the police force is very serious, whether they be a police officer or a PCSO.

“They are in a position of privacy and power and the public trust has to be upheld.”

Bunyan, of Redruth, Cornwall, remained emotionless as his sentence was read out.

But Michael Melville-Shreeve, defending Bunyan, said his client was apologetic and showed genuine remorse for his actions.

He said: “He is in the lowest public office that one can conceive of. He would never respond to 999 calls nor did he have the power of arrest.

“He has suffered utter public humiliation and disgrace and he has lost his job and his career.

“I accept all of those are his fault but he is not a man who has not suffered.

“In regards to the computer records, this gentleman was snooping, he was looking up things he shouldn’t be looking up for his own purpose.

“Perhaps to get a telephone number but not for profit or money or drugs or to help criminals.

“He is utterly ashamed and utterly humiliated. He is apologetic for what he has done to himself, his family and to Devon and Cornwall Police.”

During his trial Bunyan told the court his affairs never got in the way of his duty but admitted to sleeping with one lover up to 10 when he was supposed to be on patrol.

He said his beat would take him past the address of the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and he repeatedly called in to continue their affair.

Bunyan told the jury: “I tended to see her during the day time. I was on duty a lot of the time.

“I would have been in full uniform with my radio on, I was supposed to be on foot patrol. I was not taking advantage of my position, I don’t feel I was doing that at all.

“I would not say I was abusing my position but I was not doing what I should have been doing.

“I admit was wasting police time and being negligent and not attending to my duty.”

Bunyan admitted that over the course of the affairs, between 2006 and 2011, he failed to correctly fill in police notebooks and records – leaving some days blank.

The court heard how he researched his lovers using the Criminal Information System – one up to 17 times – to find out their mobile phone numbers and pasts.

Bunyan, who worked as a PCSO in Redruth and Camborne, Cornwall, even kept a secret mobile phone hidden at the police station, which he used to organise liaisons with lovers while on duty.

Judge Hume Jones jailed him for four years for his affairs and three years for the passing of information gained from a police database.

He was also given a three year sentence for the wrongful use of a computer and 18 months for sexual texting, both to be served concurrently.

Devon and Cornwall police suspended Bunyan when an investigation into his conduct was launched in 2011.

He is expected to be dismissed from the force on Thursday following a hearing.

Bunyan was disciplined in 2008, where he received a final written warning, after concerns were raised over his conduct with Redruth cadets and his failing to respond to his police radio.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is managing an investigation by the professional standards department.

IPCC Commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne said: “This man completely abused the position of trust he was in and is a disgrace to the police service.

“These were criminal actions and he has rightly been found guilty.

“We will be receiving a full report from Devon and Cornwall Constabulary and will details the investigation findings and any learning in due course.”

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