Published: November 15, 2012
Burnham-On-Sea man jailed for eight years over child sex offences

A Burnham-On-Sea man has this week been jailed for eight years after being convicted of serious sex offences against a teenage girl.

Former Police Community Support Officer Lawrence Dunn, 48, from Axbridge Close in Burnham, was given a prison term following a trial at Exeter Crown Court.

Dunn was found guilty at a trial at Taunton Crown Court in October, of six offences of sexual activity with a child and another two of attempted sexual activity with a child.

It follows an investigation into Dunn's conduct that began when a teenage girl disclosed that she had been abused in 2007.

Detective Constable Rebecca Maddison told "Lawrence Dunn was found guilty of eight offences of sexual contact with a child in October. He committed these crimes in 2007 while in post as a Police Community Support Officer for Avon and Somerset Constabulary."

"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. 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 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."

On sentencing, the Right Honourable Judge Solomon 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."

"Dunn's task and responsibility as a PCSO was to protect this young girl and he did not."

Dunn was handed a life time Sex Offenders Prevention Order and he was also ordered to sign the sex offenders register.

Dunn, who was a PCSO based in Bridgwater, resigned from his post when investigations into his conduct began.

Anyone who has been a victim of sexual offences whether they are historical or present should call police on 999 or 101.


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