Former PCSO jailed for raping 12-year-old


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The Independent Online

A former police community support officer has been jailed for 10 years for the rape of a 12-year-old girl.

Michael Yardley, 35, admitted having sex with the youngster along with four other counts of sexual activity with a child.

Lincoln Crown Court heard that Yardley befriended the girl's family and had sex with her around five times in his car and in the house he shared with his wife, from whom he has now separated.

Recorder John Philpotts told Yardley, who looked at the floor as the judge spoke to him: "Your offending has devastated the victim's family.

"The long term psychological and emotional effects on the victim can only be guessed, but I've no doubt that they will be serious and substantial."

At an earlier hearing the former Lincolnshire PCSO, who served as part of the Sleaford neighbourhood policing team, pleaded guilty to raping the girl on October 27 2010.

He also admitted a further four charges of sexual activity with a child between November 2010 and April last year.

Opening the prosecution case, Andrew Scott told the court the girl's parents had trusted Yardley, of Haconby Lane in Morton, Lincs, and allowed him to spend time with their daughter.

Their relationship progressed from playful to sexual, Mr Scott said.

Yardley's wife had become suspicious and was shocked when she one day found them in an "intimate" position on the sofa.

Mr Scott told the court: "He had his arm over her shoulder and was stroking her neck.

"His wife explained to the police that he was not a tactile person by nature."

She eventually reported Yardley's behaviour to her line manager at work, who in turn notified the police.

Yardley was interviewed by police in April last year and in his second interview in August admitted having sex with the girl.

Mr Scott told the court the girl had developed a crush on Yardley and said she wanted to have sex with him, but her young age meant Yardley had breached the trust she and her family had placed in him.

Mr Scott added: "He denied that he groomed the girl. He said that she started it and he failed to stop it."

Recorder John Philpotts sentenced Yardley to 10 years in prison for rape and three years each for the four counts of sexual activity, to run concurrently.

Yardley was also placed on the sex offenders register for life and made subject to the conditions of a sex offender's prevention order.

The judge told him: "These offences are extremely grave because of the age of the victim, and she was a victim, and the difference in age of you and your victim, and the fact that you were in a position of trust to her.

"You used the fact that her parents trusted you to take care of their child."

Detective Inspector Guy Leach, from Lincolnshire Police, said: "Michael Yardley is a very dangerous person to young girls.

"In this case, he has taken advantage and abused the trust of friends and a young girl.

"As a consequence of his conduct, the childhood and adolescence of this young girl has been stolen.

"The sentence passed by the court today reflects the severity of his conduct and the abuse of trust.

"As and when he is released from custody, he will be on the registered sex offenders list for life and will be managed by the Dangerous Persons Management Unit to ensure that he is never able to again put himself in a position where he can manipulate and abuse the trust of others."