Cornwall

Child rapist Peter Bunyan has sentence cut on appeal

Peter Bunyan Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police

A former Devon and Cornwall Police community support officer (PCSO) jailed for sex attacks on girls has had his 24-year sentence cut.

Peter Bunyan, 46, was convicted of three rapes and one count of sexual assault against two victims who were aged between three and five.

He was jailed for 24 years at Truro Crown Court in October 2016.

Appeal judge, Sir Brian Leveson, imposed a 17-year sentence, with one of those on extended licence.

Bunyan, formerly of Queens Street, Penzance, was working as a PCSO when the attacks took place between 2005 and 2009, the Criminal Appeal Court heard.

The trigger for one of the victims to come forward was said to have been seeing a male PCSO visit her school.

The second victim "recovered" her memories of being attacked after she had counselling.

She described it as being "like a jigsaw" falling into place in her mind.

At trial Bunyan had claimed his victims were either mistaken or lying.

'Manifestly excessive'

In his appeal, he said fresh evidence from an expert in "recovered memories" could help him clear his name.

He argued his convictions were "unsafe" because of a flawed summing up of evidence to the jury by the trial judge.

Sir Brian Leveson rejected the appeal, but said Bunyan's sentence was too long.

"We do not consider for a moment that his offending was other than very serious indeed," he said.

"The long-lasting effect on both victims has been and will be very severe.

"However, we are satisfied that the total sentence imposed was manifestly excessive.

"Grave though his offending was, it did not amount to a campaign of rape."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites