Kent

First aider John Franklin jailed for sexually assaulting vulnerable women

John Franklin Image copyright Sussex Police
Image caption One of Franklin's victims was "semi-conscious" when she was assaulted

A first aid volunteer has been jailed for eight years for sexually assaulting women who thought he was carrying out medical examinations.

John Franklin, of Sittingbourne, Kent, was convicted of two counts of sexual assault at Maidstone Crown Court.

He targeted the women on the Urban Blue Bus, which provides medical and pastoral care to the public in Maidstone on Saturday nights.

One of his three victims was "semi-conscious" when she was assaulted.

The attacks happened in late 2011 and early 2012.

Franklin, 39, was acquitted of one historical charge of rape and one historical charge of indecent assault by the jury.

At a previous trial in January, he was convicted of two counts of assault by penetration.

'Sexually motivated'

Kent Police said while working with St John Ambulance, he asked his teenage victim if he could perform a medical assessment on her in his private ambulance as part of his training.

"Whilst doing this, he carried out internal examinations and touched her intimately," the spokesman said.

Franklin was sentenced to six years in jail for the assaults by penetration and two years for the sexual assaults.

He was also put on the sex offenders register indefinitely.

Jaswant Narwal, chief crown prosecutor for CPS South East, said: "As a first aider, Franklin was someone who should have been there to help these women in their hour of need and, as such, he was in a position of trust with his victims.

"They assumed that he was carrying out medically required examinations and that was his defence during his trial.

"The truth was that these were sexually motivated acts on vulnerable young women, one of whom was semi-conscious when she was assaulted, abusing his role as a first aider."

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