'Arrogant' ex-police officer jailed for sex offences against three girls - Leeds Crown Court

A former policeman described as an 'arrogant bully' has been jailed for nine years for historic sex offences committed against three girls.

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Phillip Abbiss

Phillip Abbiss

Phillip Abbiss was a serving officer with West Yorkshire Police at the time he preyed on a 13-year-old victim.

Abbiss, 60, was also found guilty of offences against two nine-year-olds committed when he was a teenager in 1973.

A judge who sentenced Abbiss described him as an "arrogant bully" with a sense of "sexual entitlement" towards his victims.

Abbiss, of Valley Close, Alwoodley, Leeds, was found guilty of two offences of gross indecency with a child and two of indecent assault after a trial at Leeds Crown Court.

Jurors heard he targeted the two nine-year-old girls near his then home in Horsforth, Leeds, after deliberately isolating them.

One of the victims described in a statement read to the court how she still felt traumatised.

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She said: "I have lived with this for over 40 years and it is not something that will ever leave me."

She described how she initially reported the abuse in 2012 and was "devastated" when the Crown Prosecution Service and police chose take no further action.

Abbiss was investigated again over the offences in 2015.

The court heard Abbiss sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl in 1992 when he was a police officer.

The victim said she felt unable to report the incident for many years.

She said in a statement: "Who would believe me over a serving police officer?"

She added: "I have lived with this for over 25 years and it has sent me to some very dark places."

Sentencing, Recorder Joanne Kidd said Abbiss he had instructed his legal team to "belittle" the victim of the 1992 attack during cross-examination when she gave evidence in court.

She said: "It is symptomatic of your arrogance and sense of entitlement to put that before the jury as a potential line of cross-examination."

The court also heard Abbiss met one of the victims that had been abused as a nine-year-old around a decade after the incident and he made "veiled references" to her about what he had done.

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Recorder Kidd said: "Again, this exhibits arrogance and sexual entitlement,"

Abbiss did not react as he was sentenced in a packed courtroom, watched by victims and family members.

The defendant's barrister, Mark Kelly, said Abbiss continued to deny the offences.

Detective Chief Superintendent Oz Khan, of West Yorkshire Police’s Professional Standards Directorate, said:

“I hope this conviction shows the seriousness in which the police and courts treat any reports of child sex abuse, and that it demonstrates to both perpetrators and victims alike that we will investigate allegations regardless of the suspect’s background and profession.

“It is regrettable that we were unable to secure a prosecution against Abbiss at the time of the first complainant coming forward.

“In 2015, two further victims came forward and an investigation by Leeds Child Safeguarding Unit resulted in him being charged with offences against both these victims and the victim who initially came forward to the police.

“None of the offences are reported to have occurred in the course of his duties with West Yorkshire Police.”

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