Sex-on-duty PCSO has jail term halved
A DISGRACED former PCSO in Redruth and Camborne has had his seven-year jail sentence for sleeping with women he met on duty and misusing a police database cut by more than half.
Between 2007 and 2011 "serial philanderer" Peter Mark Bunyan, of Agar Road, Illogan Highway, Redruth, had affairs with women he met through work.
The then-married 40-year-old, who also conducted sexually-charged text message chats on duty, was convicted in March of eight counts of misconduct in public office and sentenced at Taunton Crown Court.
But last week Bunyan's sentence was slashed to three years by three judges at the Court of Appeal in London, meaning he will be released on licence after 18 months.
Mr Justice Griffith Williams said it was not a case of taking "blatant advantage" of vulnerable people while on duty.
Bunyan used the police database to research personal details to show off, and looked into the background of a partner of one woman's friend.
The relationships were conducted when he was working and he deliberately neglected duties, said the judge.
His barrister, Michael Melville-Shreeve, argued the sex was consensual, the information not overly sensitive and there was no evidence he neglected a specific duty.
Mr Justice Williams said police support officers needed to demonstrate the highest standards to maintain public confidence.
"While a PCSO doesn't have the authority and status of a police constable, he nonetheless has some authority and is so regarded by the public at large," he said.
"The offending in this case is to be clearly distinguished from those cases where police officers have taken blatant advantage of vulnerable women in the course of their duties.
"The accessing of police records was to obtain personal information about the women ... so that offending, while serious, is to be distinguished from cases where police officers have provided information to criminals.
"That said, the use of the personal information was clearly intended to impress the women and so to further the sexual relationships he was conducting when on duty. We have concluded the sentences were manifestly excessive."
On the West Briton's Facebook page, Tracey Platt wrote: "He should get more of a sentence rather than less because he was a police officer working in a position of trust. It's a disgrace and doesn't set a good example."
But Lucy Sparlock Walker posted: "Personally I think that 7 years was excessive... The sex was consensual and his so-called crimes appear to be very minor."