June 2017

Community support officer jailed for sexual offences against schoolgirl

A police community support officer has been jailed after pleading guilty to sexual offences against a schoolgirl

Joshua Paterson, aged 27, befriended his victim through social media before joining the force. Paterson, of Meadow Drive in Northwich, appeared at Chester Crown Court.

He admitted eight counts of sexual activity with a child and one count of sexual assault.

The court heard he groomed the girl when she was 15.

He first took her to Moses Gate Country Park.

Prosecuting, Simon Parry said: “Within days of first contacting her he had arranged to pick her up and take her to a park. On that first meeting he placed his hands down her pants. On another occasion she travelled to his home in Winsford and stopped there for two nights – on both occasions they had sex.”

The court heard that Paterson picked the girl up from school on two occasions and even took her to a party where they had sex.

On another occasion he had sex with his victim after school in a park.

In a victim impact statement, she said: “I was having nightmares every night. Four years on I still have trouble sleeping. I often have panic attacks in the night. It left me scared of leaving the flat. I’m trying my hardest not to let my mental state affect what I want to achieve in life.”

Judge Patrick Thompson sentenced Paterson to four years and eight months in prison.

The defendant’s mobile phone was seized and there was evidence he engaged in online activity with the victim.

“There are clear indications of a sexual fetish for the school girl look.

“He asked her to wear long over-the-knee socks, shorts and a top, indicating he had a liking for the schoolgirl look.”

After he stopped seeing the victim, he told her that the ‘allegations’ could damage his career in the police.

Mr Parry said: “After this they fell out and stopped meeting. As a result of the incidents the victim suffered with mental health problems, panic attacks and was put on medication for depression and self-harm.

“She sent him a text saying ‘you really messed me up.’ He said, ‘don’t be so over dramatic, I work for the police now, this allegation could damage my career.’

“She went to hospital suffering suicidal thoughts and disclosed to mental health staff there what had happened to her.”