England

Ex-Met officer guilty of rape and abuse of teenagers

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionPhilip Gaisford, 64, taught teenagers to scuba dive

A former senior Metropolitan Police officer has been found guilty of raping and abusing teenagers he taught to scuba dive in the South East.

Philip Gaisford, 64, was convicted of two rapes, 17 sexual assaults and attempted sexual assaults.

Three of his nine victims were under 16 when the abuse happened in Caterham, Surrey and Crowborough, Sussex.

He was jailed for life at Lewes Crown Court and told he would serve a minimum term of 12 years.

During the trial the former chief superintendant, who worked for the Met Police for 32 years until he retired in 1999, admitted having sex with teenagers but said it was consensual and denied they had been underage.

The jury was told Gaisford attacked teenage boys and girls he taught to scuba dive at his homes in Caterham and Crowborough between 1997 and 2008.

He held parties round his pool and insisted on a no clothes policy in his sauna.

Image caption Philip Gaisford abused teenagers he taught

Gaisford was also convicted of 10 counts of possessing indecent images of children.

He was charged with the offences following an investigation by Sussex Police.

Det Insp Rob Morland, of Sussex Police, said: "Gaisford systematically and cynically abused trusting young people who had become involved with him in his capacity as a scuba diving instructor and the court clearly found his conduct to be a gross breach of trust.

"The investigation of this case was complex and I thank the witnesses for their courage in giving evidence. The verdict shows that if victims are willing to come forward, they will be supported to be able to give their evidence and justice can be achieved."

Gaisford, previously of Old Lane, St Johns, Crowborough, was cleared by the jury of five charges including indecent assaults on two boys in Caterham and a sexual assault on a boy in Crowborough.

Related Internet links

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