Peter Bunyan, a married community support officer, used police computer to target vulnerable women, court told. He used the police computer like an online dating agency to pick his victims.
Police Officer Peter Bunyan accessed his force’s confidential criminal intelligence system to target single mothers and victims of domestic violence for sexual affairs, a court has heard.
Peter Bunyan, a married officer who served with Devon and Cornwall police, used the computer system as a “dating agency” over several years, Taunton crown court was told on Tuesday.
He used the information contained in the system to carry out background checks on women and their former partners after carrying out what he said were “welfare” visits to their homes.
Bunyan abused his position to have affairs with five women – who cannot be named for legal reasons, the court heard. He slept with them while on duty, or on his way to work, turning his police radio down or off as he had sex with them.
Bunyan, a father of two, is alleged to have had sex with one woman while he was working in a neighbourhood unit on a housing estate in Cornwall on a night shift.
He denies 12 counts of misconduct in public office which allegedly took place over a five-year period – from 2006 to 2011 – while he worked as a PCSO in the Camborne and Redruth areas of west Cornwall.
During interview the officer – who has been suspended by Devon and Cornwall police – admitted having sex with four women who include single mothers, young women and victims of domestic violence. He denied having sex with a fifth woman. The court heard that he said in interview: “I ain’t proud of what I have done but I haven’t done anything illegal. I was caught with my dick out … I am gutted; I love my job.”
Bunyan is also accused of obtaining a loan from one of the women and not paying it back.
The jury was told that Bunyan used his access to the force’s intelligence system to research the women, and three other individuals – one on 17 occasions. He also encouraged a woman who had mental health problems to send him naked photographs of herself to his email at work.
Simon Burns, prosecuting, said the sexual relationships were consensual but amounted to unprofessional behaviour, which undermined the police service.
“This is not a court of morals,” he said. “He [Bunyan] has abused his position as a police officer by targeting women – targeting vulnerable women – and conducting inappropriate sexual relationships with them while on duty.
“This is a trial about whether or not Peter Bunyan has behaved while on duty as a police officer inappropriately and unprofessionally.
“On occasions not only was he in his full uniform in people’s houses conducting sexual relationships while on duty, but on occasion turning down or off his police radio.
“This is a very great example as to how somebody could be ignoring their public duty as a police officer, because it may well have been that a communication could have been made over that police radio that he ought to have responded to. That is the nature of policing.”
Burns said Bunyan in effect used the criminal intelligence database as a dating agency, accessing highly personal details about people in the community, including the women he targeted.
“He used that confidential information, which is not allowed to be simply looked at by a police officer, unless they have a lawful reason for doing so.
“You don’t look up somebody simply to be nosy, to look at where they live, to look for their telephone numbers … You do not use the criminal intelligence system as a dating agency.”
Burns said the public expected officers like Bunyan to protect them on the streets, “not to be in bed with them”.
Colleagues of the officer told the court he “clearly appreciated” the many naked images he received at work on his email account. PCSO Karen Moreley, who worked for a year with Bunyan, said he was regularly sent images of naked women.
“There were topless images and images using mirrors … I found him quite forthcoming to women, quite creepy and unprofessional.”
The court heard he drove to the women’s homes up to four times a week and spent a couple of hours with them.
“PCSO Bunyan undermined the police service for a very long period of time in Cornwall,” Burns told the jury.
News published on: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/mar/05/police-officer-intelligence-dating-agency