Peter Bunyan – Sex on duty PCSO gets seven years

Yesterday we commented on the case of Ricci Giff – a Police Officer who was sent to prison for Misconduct in a Public Office – having sex with a woman three times when he was supposed to be at work.

Well, after having been convicted on 15th March of the same offence, Peter Bunyan was sent to prison for 7 years for the same offence today (19th March 2013). Why the huge difference?

We don’t have the sentencing remarks, so are working off the news reports. But there are several clear differences –

Firstly, Mr Bunyan was convicted of 8 counts (separate offences). This seemed to relate to five different women. This was therefore not an isolated ‘one off’, but a clear pattern of behaviour.

Secondly, Mr Bunyan had a trial. This means that there was no credit for a plea such as Mr Ricci received. This makes a big difference – Mr Bunyan’s sentence would have been reduced to just over 4½ years.

Thirdly, it seems that Mr Bunyan deliberately targeted vulnerable women by using a confidential police database to find those who had recently been victims of crime. This is much more serious than Mr Ricci.

Lastly, and perhaps not a huge point, Mr Ricci seemed to have left his radio on whilst he was having his unauthorised breaks, whereas Mr Bunyan turned his down, so would not have been able to have responded in the face of a major emergency.

Does this explain the whole disparity? Whilst Mr Bunyan’s case is clearly more serious, we would suggest that it is likely that there will be an appeal against sentence here.

The Court of Appeal would not look at Mr Bunyan’s case compared to Mr Ricci (as that case does not give any form of precedent), it does seem that Mr Bunyan’s is too high. Compare the case of Kenny Lewis, who was convicted of three counts of Misconduct for similar offences. They were less serious in that the women appeared to be less vulnerable, and the offence not as prolonged, but the sentence of four years was reduced to three. Against that backdrop, Mr Bunyan’s sentence seems appealable.

It should be remembered that Mr Bunyan got more than he would have done for most robberies and more than for one charge of rape. His offending was serious, but was it really that serious?

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About Dan Bunting

I'm a lawyer who works for myself. Legal geek, maths freak, general dullard and jack of all trades. Here’s a few views on law and occasional musings on life. Usual caveats about not relying on anything I say etc applies.

4 thoughts on “Peter Bunyan – Sex on duty PCSO gets seven years

  1. Alan Jones

    Dan,

    You could have also made the point that both have been dealt with differently on the basis of their role. There is a distinct difference in their employment status: one is a holder of office and the latter an employee. Ricci is a PC, Bunyan was a PCSO. These roles are very different. AJ

    Reply
    1. Dan Bunting Post author

      I should have mentioned that – you’re right. I’m not sure that it makes that much difference though? If anything, the PC as an office holder under the crown is in more of a position of trust which makes the sentence for Mr Bunyan all the more out of kilter?

      But yes, apologies for not putting that in.

      Reply
  2. John Allman

    “Giff, aged 36, was an officer with SO6. The BBC reported that part of SO6’s duties included guarding Downing Street.” [Ricci Giff – anti-terrorism officer – jailed for misconduct, Lyndon Harris]

    If the Pleb Squad allow terrorists to assassinate Mr Cameron, we could end up with Nick Clegg as acting Prime Minister, until the Tories have held a leadership election. It would be interesting to know what vital mission of our local Devon & Cornwall Constabulary, so much more important than that, Police Community Support Officer Bunyan jeopardised, to get nearly ten times the jail sentence.

    Reply
  3. Pingback: Bunyon | UK Criminal Law Blog

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