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Former PC jailed after sex with teenager

PUBLISHED: 10:14 14 June 2010 | UPDATED: 18:02 30 June 2010

A former Norfolk police officer's career has been left in ruins after he was jailed for three months after he pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office after admitting to engaging in sexual activity with a 17-year-old girl while on duty and possession of indecent images.

A former Norfolk police officer's career has been left in ruins after he was jailed for three months after he pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office after admitting to engaging in sexual activity with a 17-year-old girl while on duty and possession of indecent images.

Former policeman, James Clifford, 40, who was once commended for his bravery, admitted misconduct in public office and possession of indecent images of children. He was also given a lifetime ban from working with children and placed on the sex offenders register for seven years.

The court heard how Clifford met the teenager during the course of his duties as a police constable. He made further contact with her in January this year and asked if they could meet. While on duty and in uniform he went on to meet the young woman and engage in sexual activity with her at an address, in Great Yarmouth.

PC Clifford was arrested in the same month after an allegation was made against him. Norfolk Police immediately informed the Police Complaints Commission, the IPCC. It was during this arrest that indecent photographs of children were found on PC Clifford's home computer.

The officer was suspended while an investigation was conducted by the force's professional standards department under the direction and control of the IPCC. The officer has since resigned from Norfolk Police.

Norfolk Deputy Chief Constable Ian Learmonth, said: “The public we serve rightly expects the highest standards of honesty and integrity from both police officers and members of staff. PC Clifford abused his position by taking advantage of a vulnerable 17 year-old girl. As this case illustrates, the Constabulary will robustly investigate any allegations of criminal activity by its employees.”

IPCC Commissioner, Rachel Cerfontyne, said: “Norfolk Police acted promptly to bring these matters to the IPCC's attention and have rightly conducted a criminal investigation under our direction. This officer has abused his position and taken advantage of a young woman in troubled circumstances. This sort of behaviour and abuse of trust lets everybody down - not just the police service but those that the police serve. It is proper that he has faced the consequences of his actions in court.”

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