Disgraced former police officer jailed for ‘wicked’ child sex abuse

Former police officer Garry Wells-Burr, who was jailed for six years on Friday. Picture: Herts polic

Former police officer Garry Wells-Burr, who was jailed for six years on Friday. Picture: Herts police - Credit: Archant

A disgraced former police officer who sexually abused two young girls over a period of four years has been jailed.

A judge accused Garry Wells-Burr – who was a constable in Stevenage and East Herts from 2003 to 2016 – of betraying all he had trained for as he sentenced him to six years behind bars.

Wells-Burr targeted the two girls between January 2010 and July 2014, abusing one of them between the ages of 12 and 16. His second victim was aged 15.

Passing sentence on Friday at Chelmsford Crown Court, Judge David Turner QC told him: “Your grave misconduct left your victims shattered and confused, and their victim impact statements were painful reading.

“The wickedness of what you have done will have a lasting and damaging impact on both of them. You were a trusted individual and you breached that trust with your covertly manipulative and shameful abuse of power.

“You targeted two relatively young children and the abuse was repeated and sustained. This was a betrayal of everything you had trained for and believed in.”

In addition to the jail sentence, Wells-Burr was made subject to a sexual harm prevention order prohibiting him from contacting either victim or having any unsupervised contact with children under 16. He will be on the sex offenders register for life.

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Wells-Burr, 36 – of Needingworth in Cambridgeshire, and formerly of Royston – was arrested while on duty in January 2015 after officers in the Joint Child Protection Investigation Team received an allegation that he had sexually assaulted two young girls.

He was immediately suspended from duty and never returned to work. He was subsequently dismissed from the force for gross misconduct in February 2016 over an unrelated matter.

Wells-Burr was based at Stevenage, Bishop’s Stortford and Hertford police stations during his time with Herts police, working as an intervention/response officer and case investigation officer.

Herts chief constable Charlie Hall said: “We recognise the significant impact sexual offending has upon its victims and we are completely committed to thoroughly investigating reports.

“There is no-place for a sex offender to hide no matter what their job, and the specialist team who led this inquiry were both tenacious and highly professional in their investigative approach.

“The impact of these crimes is devastating and the victims in this case have received specialist support throughout the investigation. I commend their courage in helping bring Garry Wells-Burr to justice.”

Det Sgt Adam Conder of the child protection investigation team added: “While these crimes were not linked to Wells-Burr’s job as a police officer in any way, his actions were an utter contradiction of someone whose job is to protect and serve the public. These offences will understandably have a far-reaching impact on both victims.

“I want to commend their bravery in coming forward and supporting our investigation so that justice could be served. I hope this sentence brings them a small sense of peace and they can begin to move on with their lives, knowing Wells-Burr is now behind bars.”

Wells-Burr pleaded guilty to causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent, and sexual assault.

He denied a count sexual assault of a child under 13 and two counts of sexual assault, all three of which have been ordered to lie on file.