North West Wales

PC Gary Donnelly jailed for sexually abusing a teenager

Gary Donnelly
Image caption PC Gary Donnelly had told his victim that she reminded him of his late wife, who had died during childbirth, the court heard

An award-winning North Wales Police officer has been jailed for 18 months for sexually abusing a teenager.

PC Gary Donnelly, 47, from Llandudno, was found guilty at Caernarfon Crown Court of two counts of indecent assault in 2002 on a girl of 14.

Donnelly denied the offences during a re-trial after a previous jury failed to reach a verdict.

He must also register as a sex offender for 10 years.

The court heard Donnelly had told his victim that she reminded him of his late wife, who had died in the same year during childbirth.

Recorder Huw Rees told him: "The offences were committed at a traumatic time for you, some two months or so after the tragic death of your wife."

The judge said Donnelly had "coerced" the girl into his bed, kissing her passionately, hugging and touching her.

"The effect on her has been long-lasting," said the judge.

The court heard that Donnelly joined North Wales Police in 2003.

In 2011, he won the North Wales Police Federation's community service award and was also nominated for an all-Wales community award for his work on an anti-crime scheme in Llandudno.

Nicholas Walker, defending, said Donnelly had done "so much for the public in north Wales".

'Resolve and strength'

Mr Walker added: "Custody for Gary Donnelly is going to be exceptionally hard due to the type of offence."

After the court hearing, senior investigating officer Det Ch Insp Sian Beck said: "I would like to thank the investigating officers, CPS and most of all the victim who had the resolve and strength to come forward.

"This case demonstrates that regardless of when offences of this nature take place, we will do all we can to thoroughly investigate them and support the victim and witnesses at all stages of the process to ensure justice is served."

Ch Insp Dave Roome of the North Wales Police professional standards department said: "Following the court result, NWP will now examine any additional material to have arisen and conclude our internal investigation as expeditiously as possible. The officer remains suspended from duty at this time."

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