Hertfordshire police officer convicted of child rape after victim’s testimony | UK news
A police officer was found guilty of raping a girl and wiping her phone to avoid detection after the victim gave a “powerful” testimony in court.
James Ford, 31, of Hertfordshire Police, was told he could face a lengthy prison sentence after being found guilty of 10 counts of sexually abusing the same child after less than a day of jury deliberations at Cambridge Crown Court.
The defendant, formerly of Bishop’s Stortford, was found guilty of four counts of rape, four counts of sexual assault and two counts of causing or encouraging a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity.
He was also found guilty of committing an act with intent and intent to pervert the course of public justice, by “deliberately wiping his phone by factory resetting his Samsung mobile phone”.
The criminal acts that the accused, who was an intervention officer, denied, took place in the period from 2019 to 2021.
DI Susie Hine, who heads Cambridgeshire Police’s Child Abuse Investigation and Safeguarding Unit (Caisu), paid tribute to the child’s “bravery and bravery”. “Through the victim’s powerful testimony, the jury was left with no doubt and now the predatory sex offender is behind bars.
“Cases of this nature are both disturbing and upsetting and I want to reassure the public that there is no place for the perpetrator to hide no matter who they are. In this case, it was a police officer who is now facing the consequences of detention for his appalling actions.”
Ford was suspended from duty last November, police said.
Judge Bryan remanded Ford in custody ahead of sentencing on Friday. Dismissing jurors, he told them that Ford “will obviously have a long prison sentence – I will determine the sentence on Friday.”
Hertfordshire Police said that when the allegations came to light, the case was independently investigated by specialist officers based at Cais police station in Cambridgeshire. The matter has also been referred to the Independent Police Conduct Office and the Police Professional Standards Unit.
Ford joined the force in December 2019 and was initially based in east Hertfordshire as a uniformed response officer, Hertfordshire Police said.
DC Mark Williamson said: “Ford has shown no remorse for his actions and it is a credit to the victim that the jury saw beyond his lies. I would encourage victims of child abuse to contact the police or support agencies to get the help and support they need, regardless of when the offense occurred.
“Ford faces a significant prison sentence for his crimes which I hope brings a sense of justice to the victim and their family.”
Genna Telfer, Assistant Chief Constable for Hertfordshire, said: “James Ford took advantage of a vulnerable victim in the most appalling way and his behavior will devastate those involved. Fortunately, due to the bravery of the victim and the due diligence of the investigating officers, he will now serve his sentence in prison where he belongs.
“I am appalled by his actions and he will face a swift dismissal hearing.”
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