June 2018

Former dog warden Philip Lawrence, from Herne Bay, jailed for sex offences

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Victims of a paedophile dog warden obsessed with young girls wept in court today as he was sent to prison for three years.

Philip Lawrence, 64, had already been jailed in 2015 for sex offences against three girls stretching back 32 years.

But when two other victims read newspaper reports about Lawrence’s conviction they alerted police and another investigation was launched.

It culminated in him being jailed today at Canterbury Crown Court after admitting indecent assault and committing an act of outraging public decency.

Dominic Connolly, prosecuting, told the court the first offence involved a girl of 15 who was out walking her dog in the early 1990s when she saw Lawrence in his van, went over to speak to him and saw him committing a sex act. She ran away.

A few years later he forced another 15-year-old girl to touch him sexually in his van after parking in a remote spot.

In a statement, the first victim said that when she saw in the papers that Lawrence had been jailed for sexually abusing girls she knew she had to come forward.

“I was so terrified and I thought he would get me in his van,” she said. “The feeling I had that day has never left me. When I hear his name I go back to that day when I was a teenager.

“I thought no one would believe me. I was scared of him and what he would do. I would see him often driving around Dover in his van.”

The victim said the incident had left her over-protective of her children, especially her daughter.

“Before that day I thought I could trust him,” she said. “I feel I am scarred for life.”

The other victim said the impact on her had been devastating.

“When I saw the court case in the paper in 2015 it hit me like a slap in the face,” she said. “I felt sick and it took me back to when I was a girl in his van.

“He took away my innocence. It is still really painful and causes me a lot of anxiety and nightmares.”

John Fitzgerald, defending, said Lawrence felt genuine remorse and was shocked and ashamed of what he had done.

He had made progress since being released from jail in March last year.

Recorder Jonathan Davies told Lawrence: “Each of your two victims was seriously affected by what you did. I suspect it is as painful for them now as it was then.”

Lawrence, who no longer works as a dog warden, was also given a sexual harm prevention order.

July 2015

Perverted Dover dog warden who preyed on young girls for 30 years is jailed

A PERVERT dog warden’s 40-year obsession with young girls has landed him in prison for three and a half years. 

Philip Lawrence, 55, who worked in both Folkestone and Dover, was jailed after pleading guilty to five sex offences over a 30-year period.

The former dog warden, of Balfour Road, Dover, was convicted on two indecent exposure charges in 1975 – but his fascination with girls aged under 16 continued.

In 1979 he exposed himself to a 13-year-old girl while he was in his car with two young children in the back seats.

Dominic Connolly, prosecuting last Friday, told Canterbury Crown Court that the car was parked in a Dover side street and the girl could not get out.

Lawrence tried to get her to engage in sexual activity with him but she fled after he opened the passenger door.

She complained to police in the 1990s but it was not until last year that Lawrence was charged.

In 1996 Lawrence caught a 12-year-old girl smoking and tried to get her to take nude photos of him. She wanted to go on holiday to Florida with friends and Lawrence said he would pay £400 if she had sex with him.

Sick Lawrence continually tried to get her to engage in sex acts.

He gave her a lift in his official van and exposed himself to her. Three years later she told a social worker what happened and Lawrence was questioned but not charged.

Three times in 2012 he preyed on a young girl who is a friend of his young wife Emma. Once she was walking into Lawrence’s house and he grabbed her bottom.

Then he picked her up in his van and said he fancied her. Twice when she visited Lawrence’s home to see his wife, the pervert exposed himself.

She told police she was ‘sick to her stomach’ because of what he had done. She later told his wife about what had happened and then went to police.

Lawrence admitted to police that he found young girls sexually attractive.

In a victim impact statement the second girl said she could not cope or trust men after Lawrence branded her as a liar and a thief.

Claire Cooper, defending, said: “He is a very sad opportunist with a terrible way of getting sexual gratification.

“He accepts the sexual harm he has done to the young ladies in this case.”

Sentencing him to a total of 42 months in prison, Judge Heather Norton said Lawrence was not a candidate for a sexual rehabilitation unit.

She said the sentence sent a clear message that his behaviour was totally unacceptable and that the public needed protection.

Judge Norton said: “You present a risk to the public. You are a very dangerous offender.

“You targeted these young women who trusted you. You acted in a sexually inappropriate way.”