June 2011

Ex-policeman, 87, is jailed for Bristol sex attacks

AN 87-YEAR-OLD former policeman has been jailed for 11 years after being convicted of raping and sexually abusing four girls aged under 16.

Bryan Davis, a police constable who retired from Avon and Somerset Constabulary in 1976, was found to have carried out the abuse on one of the girls when she was aged just seven, Bristol Crown Court heard.

Davis, of Gilslake Avenue, Brentry, faced 20 serious sexual assault charges.

He denied indecently assaulting two girls when they were aged under 14, seven indecent assaults and six rapes of a third girl, and two indecent assaults and three charges of indecency with a child relating to a fourth girl.

A jury unanimously found him guilty of 19 charges, and guilty of the 20th by a majority of 11 to one.

Judge Simon Darwall-Smith told the pensioner: “You used your position as a police officer to shield yourself from the consequences of the most serious form of child abuse, culminating in a campaign of rape.

“It is unnecessary to spell out the damage caused to your victims.

“You deny, and continue to deny, the jury’s verdicts. You have no remorse or empathy for your victims.”

The judge said that, because the offences pre-dated the Criminal Justice Act 2003, there was a chance Davis would serve two-thirds of the sentence behind bars under old law, as opposed to the modern-day half of a sentence.

Afterwards one of Davis’ victims told the Evening Post: “On behalf of everyone involved I, and we, are delighted to be able to say justice has finally been done after 50 years.

“Great thanks to the whole justice system, which has been extremely supportive and got us to this point today.”

Fiona Elder, defending, urged the judge to be as lenient as possible, bearing in mind her client’s age and medical condition.

During the trial one witness told the jury that when she was aged 13 Davis groped her.

The witness said that she had been naive and had not understood what was happening.

She said: “I certainly hadn’t heard of the word paedophile all those years ago. It made me feel ashamed in a way.

“I just didn’t understand why he had done it to me.

“He was in the police force. All those years ago we just didn’t talk about things like that.”

The woman said that, later, a youngster said Davis had tried to touch her and done “rude” things to another girl.

She said she wrote a letter to Davis, at Bridewell police station, telling him to keep away because she knew what he had done.

Another woman told the court Davis first touched her improperly when she was aged seven, and would force himself on her. She said: “He started abusing me and he would say ‘this is our little secret’.

“I kept what was happening as a secret because I was scared of him. He was a monster. He had a very, very bad temper.”

Davis, who also served in the Army and worked for trading standards, told the jury: “I’ve never raped anyone. I’ve never French kissed anyone. I’ve got too much respect.”

Superintendent Sarah Crew, of Avon and Somerset police, said: “Bryan Davis believed he had got away with these crimes, which have left his victims with scars for a number of years.

“Having committed the offences over a period of 40 years, his victims had the courage to come forward and speak to specialist detectives who placed him before the courts.

“The sentence passed today is welcomed and I hope that it brings some comfort to his victims.”

Apr 2010

Former Avon and Somerset Pc guilty of sex offences

A former Avon and Somerset Police officer has been found guilty of 20 sex offences against children.

Bryan Davis, 87, of Gilslake Avenue, Brentry, Bristol, appeared before Bristol Crown Court accused of sexual assault charges, including six of rape.

Avon and Somerset Police said the verdict was a “reflection of the seriousness of the crimes he committed from the 1950s to the late 1990s”.

Davis has been bailed until sentencing at a later date.

It took the jury four hours to find Davis guilty of all charges on Thursday.

The court heard how he had abused and raped girls between 1954 and 1998.

One victim, who was 13 when the abuse happened, told the jury: ” I certainly hadn’t heard of the word paedophile. It made me feel ashamed in a way. He was in the police force.

“All those years ago we just didn’t talk about things like that.”

Serving officer

An Avon and Somerset Police spokeswoman said following the verdict: “When this matter was brought to our attention in 2010, it was fully investigated by Bristol’s dedicated team to tackle rape and sexual assault.

“This investigation revealed that Davis was a serving police officer at the time some of these offences were committed.

“This was the first time full details of his past had been revealed to police by the victims.”

Davis, who retired from the Avon and Somerset force in 1976, was charged with 11 counts of indecent assault on a female; six charges of rape; and three of gross indecency with a female child.

A Crown Prosecution Service spokesperson said: “The successful prosecution of Bryan Davis illustrates that however long ago crimes like this were committed, the police and Crown Prosecution Service will work together to ensure offenders are brought to justice.”