A POLICEMAN who carried out sex attacks on a young girl over a four-year period has been jailed.
Pc Peter Newton - who served in Calderdale - was given a four-year jail sentence yesterday at Leeds Crown Court.
Newton, 50, formerly of Egremont Street in Sowerby Bridge, was sentenced by Mr Justice Wakerley for six counts of indecent assault on the girl, who is now aged 15.
Newton, who was a police officer at Halifax at the time of the offences but had worked in Brighouse, pleaded guilty last December to five indecent assault charges.
He admitted a further charge of indecent assault on January 16.
This charge replaced an allegation of rape, which Newton had denied.
Mr Justice Wakerley formally found him not guilty of the rape charge yesterday, accepting Newton's plea that an act he had performed with the girl was simulated sex, not an attempt at penetrative sex.
All the indecent assaults occurred when the girl was aged between 11 and 15.
Prosecutor Timothy Clayson said during the assaults, Newton asked the girl for hugs, touched her chest under her clothes and kissed her on the mouth.
He also put his hands into her underwear, on one occasion touching her between her legs.
Mr Clayson said the girl was too afraid to talk about the attacks.
He said: "The defendant applied moral pressure to her, that she should not reveal what was taking place, asking her not to tell anyone. He made her feel guilty."
She finally confessed to a teacher last year and Newton was arrested on Scammonden Bridge on September 30.
He was clinging to the wrong side of the railings, threatening to jump on to the busy M62 below.
He was suspended from duty and resigned from the West Yorkshire Police shortly after his arrest.
He had served with West Yorkshire Police for 29 years.
Newton's barrister Paul Fleming, mitigating, said his client was remorseful and wanted to know what had triggered his behaviour so that he could change his ways.
Mr Fleming said Newton had lost his reputation and family because of the offences."
Mr Justice Wakerley said Newton would serve a maximum of two thirds of his sentence, but would be eligible to apply for parole after serving half of it.
After his early release, he will spend the remainder of his sentence on licence, plus an extra 12 months added by the judge.
Newton was placed on the Sex Offenders Register and has been banned from working with children.
After the hearing, Det Chief Insp Michael Hopwood, head of West Yorkshire Police's children and public protection unit, said: "We all know that child abuse can be committed by people of all ages and all professions.
"What is important is that victims have the confidence to come forward and for the matter to be dealt with formally."