Love-cheat PCSO jailed for misconduct 'is disgrace to police service'
A police community support officer who put his “sexual appetite before public duty” to bed four women while on duty was jailed for seven years yesterday.
Peter Bunyan, 40, used the police database as a “dating agency” to track down phone numbers and addresses of attractive women on his beat.
The father-of-two had affairs with four vulnerable women before and during his policing shift – sleeping with one lover up to ten times when he was on duty.
He even seduced one woman at a neighbourhood policing unit as he worked a late shift on a housing estate in Cornwall in 2009.
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Bunyan admitted wasting police time but insisted he had not neglected his duty because he kept his radio on during the trysts, while working for Devon and Cornwall police.
The former car park worker denied 12 charges of misconduct in a public office but was found guilty of eight counts following a three-week trial at Taunton Crown Court in Somerset. He was convicted of sleeping with four women on duty and illegally accessing data relating to three lovers on the Criminal Information System.
Bunyan, who joined Devon and Cornwall police in 2003, was also found guilty of accessing the system to look up the details of a man without reason.
Yesterday, his honour Judge Graham Hume Jones told the officer he had taken advantage of his position.
The judge said: “You took advantage of your professional relationship and having heard that evidence I am satisfied that you targeted vulnerable women to indulge your own sexual appetite.
“You were even bold enough and arrogant enough to take a woman to a local police office and engage in sexual intercourse with her there.
“You conducted these relationships while on duty and you should have been available to take calls. There was evidence you deliberately chose to neglect calls on your radio.”
Bunyan, of Redruth, remained emotionless as his sentence was read out. But Michael Melville-Shreeve, defending, said his client was apologetic and showed genuine remorse for his actions.
He said: “He is in the lowest public office that one can conceive of. He would never respond to 999 calls nor did he have the power of arrest.
“He has suffered utter public humiliation and disgrace and he has lost his job and his career. I accept all of those are his fault but he is not a man who has not suffered.”
Judge Hume Jones jailed Bunyan for four years for his affairs and three years for the passing of information gained from a police database.
He was also given a three-year sentence for the wrongful use of a computer and 18 months for sexual texting, both to be served concurrently.
Devon and Cornwall police suspended Bunyan when an investigation into his conduct was launched in 2011. He is expected to be dismissed from the force shortly, following a hearing.
Bunyan was disciplined in 2008, where he received a final written warning, after concerns were raised over his conduct with Redruth cadets and his failing to respond to his police radio.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is managing an investigation by the professional standards department.
IPCC Commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne said: “This man completely abused the position of trust he was in and is a disgrace to the police service.
“These were criminal actions and he has rightly been found guilty. We will be receiving a full report from Devon and Cornwall Constabulary and will detail the investigation findings."