Policeman jailed for sex offences

A police officer has been jailed for five years for committing a number of child sex offences.

David Rooke, 51, was found guilty of engaging in sexual activity with a child and sexually assaulting a child.

Rooke, a detention officer based at Kendal police station, had earlier admitted inciting a girl under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity and causing a child to watch a sex act. Both offences related to online MSN conversations between the defendant and the girl.

He was immediately suspended from his post in May 2009 after he was arrested by officers from Cumbria Constabulary's public protection unit over the allegations relating to two children.

Rooke, of Broad Ing, Kendal, was also placed on the sex offenders' register for life and banned from working with children for the same period, said police.

Following sentencing at Carlisle Crown Court, Chief Superintendent Paul Kennedy said: "We are appalled at David Rooke's actions.

"We take offences of this nature extremely seriously and police officers across the county work tirelessly to ensure that sex offenders are caught and brought to justice - which is exactly what has happened in court today.

"Rooke was arrested and immediately suspended from his role - the very same day that an allegation was made.

"A thorough investigation then began by Cumbria Constabulary's public protection unit. This team is dedicated to thoroughly investigating all reports of sexual abuse and supporting victims, regardless of the alleged offender's occupation.

"Cumbria Constabulary conducts rigorous security checks before they employ any officer or member of staff, and expects its employees to maintain the highest standards of behaviour and conduct to uphold the reputation of Cumbria Constabulary.

"Rooke was employed as a detention officer in Kendal police station since November 2000 and did not have any previous criminal convictions when he joined. He no longer works for Cumbria Constabulary and now faces five years in prison."