PCSO Peter Bunyan sex misconduct sentence reduced
- 16 August 2013
- From the section Cornwall
A police community support officer (PCSO) jailed for misconduct has had his sentence halved.
Peter Bunyan, 40, of Carharrack, near Redruth, Cornwall, was convicted in March and jailed for seven years.
He was accused of neglecting his duties by turning his police radio down on shifts before having sex with women.
At the Court of Appeal, Mr Justice Griffith Williams said, while Bunyan's offending was serious, his sentence had been "manifestly excessive".
The court was told Bunyan was a "serial philanderer" who, from 2007 to 2011, had affairs with women he met through his work at Devon and Cornwall Police.
Bunyan was convicted at Taunton Crown Court of eight counts of misconduct in public office and sentenced to seven years.
But Mr Justice Williams said Bunyan's case was not one of a police officer or PCSO taking "blatant advantage" of vulnerable women.
He said Bunyan used the police database to research personal details after he had started relationships with the women "in order to show off".
Sitting with Lady Justice Rafferty and Mrs Justice Thirlwall, the appeal court judge said Bunyan had abused his position to impress the women he was having sex with when on duty.
While that was serious, he said it was to be clearly distinguished from cases where officers had taken blatant advantage of vulnerable women in the course of their duties or had used police records to provide information to criminals.
"Having regard to all those matters, we have concluded that the sentences in this case were manifestly excessive," he said.
The Royal Courts of Justice judges cut Bunyan's sentence to three years, which means he is expected to be released from HMP Dartmoor on licence after serving half of that term (18 months).
Following his conviction in March, Bunyan was dismissed without notice from the Devon and Cornwall force.