July 2010

Former policeman gets six-year sentence for sexually abusing boys

A FORMER policeman has been jailed for six years for sexually abusing three boys.

Derby Crown Court heard that Darren Lawson, of Charnwood Street, Derby, accepted children could be “scarred for life” by his conduct.

His victims were aged between nine and 15 with the offences being committed over about six years in the 1990s, some in the Derby area.

The 44-year-old was a constable with Nottinghamshire Police and during his service worked as a schools and youth issues officer, family liaison officer and a PC on City and South Notts Divisions.

The force said there was no evidence of offending while working for them and this had been “robustly investigated”.

Judge Amjad Nawaz told him: “This was a clear and gross breach of trust. This was premeditated and you manipulated the situation.”

Sarah Slater, for the prosecution, told the court that on one occasion Lawson gave a boy alcohol and tried to kiss him.

In another case, he attempted to show gay pornography to one of his victims, added Miss Slater.

She said one boy had become prone to outbursts of anger but is now “much happier and able to move on with his life” after revealing the abuse.

Keith Raynor, in mitigation, said Lawson had written letters of apology to his victims. The judge agreed these could be passed to them.

He told the court: “Darren Lawson is plainly an intelligent and articulate man and he knows children can be scarred for life as a result of these offences.”

He said Lawson had been open with police, adding: “There is a searing frankness. He is not hiding from anything.

“There is clearly a sense of remorse and a real sense of shame.

“He has been ostracised by former police colleagues and by some friends. He stands up to be counted.”

Lawson was arrested in July last year and was suspended from duty that day. He later resigned from the force.

Lawson pleaded guilty to 12 offences of indecent assault.

He was put on the sex offenders’ register for life and was banned from working with anyone under 16.

Lawson will be freed on prison licence after three years but will have to continue attending courses for sex offenders.

After the case, his victims said they were glad to see him in the dock.

Detective Superintendent Adrian Pearson, head of Nottinghamshire Police’s public protection team, said: “They are relieved it is all over.

“They are satisfied with the length of the sentence and the effect it will have on him.

“Because of his former career, his time in prison will not be an easy one.

“And we as a force find it extremely disappointing that a serving police officer should commit these horrendous offences of abuse.”