A former Police Community Support Officer has yesterday been jailed for eight years after sexually abusing a schoolgirl he met while promoting the force.
Lawrence Dunn, 48, had denied nine counts relating to the sexual abuse of a child while in his post as a PCSO for Avon and Somerset Police.
But a jury at Taunton Crown Court found him guilty of six counts of sexual activity with a child and two counts of attempted sexual activity.
Dunn, of Axbridge Road, Burnham-on-Sea, was found not guilty of a third charge of attempted sexual activity.
Avon and Somerset Police said Dunn, who resigned once the allegations came to light, appeared at Exeter Crown Court yesterday, where Judge Erik Salomonsen passed sentence on the former PCSO.
The offences came to light following an investigation into Dunn's conduct that began when the teenage girl said that she had been abused in 2007.
Detective Constable Rebecca Maddison, of Avon and Somerset Police, said: "The court heard compelling evidence at this trial, which highlighted the gross abuse of his position of trust."
Ms Maddison criticised Dunn for not sparing his teenage victim the pain of giving evidence in court.
"He had every opportunity to plead guilty following this investigation, but instead he put his victim through the trauma of a trial," she said.
"The jury found him guilty of eight of the nine offences he was charged with and today he was handed eight years' imprisonment.
"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 was handed a lifetime sex offenders' prevention order and he was also ordered to sign the sex offenders' register.