Cornwall

Former PCSO Peter Bunyan jailed for rape of young girls

Peter Bunyan Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption Former PCSO Peter Bunyan raped two young girls

A former police community support officer (PCSO) has been jailed for 24 years for raping two girls aged between three and five.

Peter Bunyan, 43, from Penzance, was found guilty of three charges of rape and one of sexual assault, after a trial at Truro Crown Court.

Bunyan was working as a PCSO when the attacks took place, from 2005 to 2009.

He used his PCSO position to have sex with women and was previously jailed in 2013 for misconduct in a public office.

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'Breach of trust'

As he sentenced Bunyan, Judge Simon Carr said: "You caused devastation by your actions."

The judge said the defendant had committed "a great breach of trust".

The trigger for one of the victims to come forward was seeing a male PCSO visit her school in 2015.

The court heard both girls had found it "impossible to come to terms" with what had happened.

The judge sentenced Bunyan to 24 years for three counts of rape of a child under 13 and seven years concurrent for sexual assault of a child. He was found not guilty of one count of rape of a child.

Misconduct conviction

A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesman said: "The public have a right to expect exemplary behaviour from all members of the police service who are there to protect them."

Bunyan was convicted in 2013 at Taunton Crown Court of eight counts of misconduct in public office and jailed for seven years, though the sentence was later halved on appeal.

He is understood to have worked as a PCSO from 2007 until he was suspended in 2011 and dismissed in March 2013.

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