Former policeman jailed for sexually abusing young girl - Welwyn Garden City

13/11/2015

A former policeman has today, Friday, 13 November 2015, been jailed for 22 months for sexually abusing a young girl 45 years ago.

The victim only came forward in 2013 after seeing news reports about the Jimmy Savile sex scandal. Now aged 60, she told how policeman John Peck kissed her on the lips when she was aged 14. When she was 15 he took her on car trips where sexual activity took place. Similar acts are alleged to have taken place in her bedroom at her home in Welwyn Garden City.

The allegations led to the arrest of Peck, who had served at Welwyn Garden City police station.

Peck, now aged 80, of Buxton Road, Waltham Forest, denied five charges of indecent assault in 1969 and 1970 when he went on trial at St Albans Crown Court.

Prosecutor Michael Williams said that Peck, who knew the victim through a church in Welwyn Garden, gained her trust and affection and, at one stage, the girl believed he would leave his wife for her and they would marry. Mr Williams said: "He bought her jewellery and spoke of leaving his wife. It was all part of the grooming exercise. He was in a position of responsibility as a serving police officer and a member of the church. She was a schoolgirl aged under 16 and it was entirely unlawful what he was doing. There was a 20 year age difference between them. She came forward to the police in 2013 when there was an awful lot of publicity about sexual abuse concerning Jimmy Savile."

The jury was told he had admitted two charges of indecent assault and they found him guilty of five other charges of indecent assault.

Ian Henderson, defending, said Peck suffered hearing problems, had been treated for prostate cancer and osteoarthritis. He said he was of previous good character and that his wife was very ill.

Jailing him, Judge Jonathan Carroll told Peck: "You took away her childhood and innocence for your own sexual gratification. She was a child. You were an adult. You showed manipulative and predatory behaviour."

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