June 2017

Police officer jailed for improper conduct with teens

A Hampshire police officer has been jailed for 30 months after he was found guilty of two counts of misconduct in public office in connection with “inappropriate” behaviour towards two teenage girls.

PC Keith Burgess was convicted at Guildford Crown Court with regard to his “sexualised” messages and actions towards two girls, in 2014 and 2015, while working as a neighbourhood officer in Southampton, Hampshire.

The 42-year-old was sentenced for two counts of misconduct in public office.

The jury was ordered by the trial judge to find him not guilty due to insufficient evidence of sending sexually explicit messages, three counts of sexual assault, a child grooming offence and two child sexual abuse images offences.

He was cleared of a further count of misconduct in public office.

A court spokeswoman said that as well as the prison sentence, Burgess was ordered to pay a £120 victim surcharge and had a restraining order issued against him concerning the two girls.

He was cleared at trial of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old in the kitchen of her home while her mother sat in the next room. But he was found guilty by the jury of misconduct in relation to his behaviour towards her.

He was also found guilty of misconduct for sending “flirtatious” messages to a 17-year-old girl and asking for pictures of her in return.