April 2008

Former honorary policeman jailed

A former Jersey honorary policeman who admitted sexual assaults on girls has been jailed for two years.

Roger Arthur Holland, 42, admitted assaults on eight girls over 19 years.

The offences involved touching girls inappropriately outside their clothes. Three took place during his time as an honorary officer between 1992 and 1999.

Sentencing the former vingtenier at the Royal Court, Deputy Bailiff Michael Burt highlighted the repeated offences and abuses of trust Holland displayed.

Senior officer

Holland had been awaiting sentence for three counts of indecent assault on children when he asked for a further five offences to be taken into consideration in March.

He was aged between 15 and 34 when he carried out the assaults.

Jersey has 12 honorary police forces, one for each of the island’s parishes. Officers are unsalaried, but can work with the island’s States police.

In 1992, despite stating on his application form that he had been convicted of an indecent assault against a young girl in 1986, he was elected as a constables officer and sworn in.

He later went on to be promoted to a senior position, attaining the rank of vingtenier, the second most senior in the island’s volunteer force.

Strong message

Holland, who is originally from the island, but has also lived in Northamptonshire, was previously jailed for two years in 2001 for two other counts of indecent assault committed before 1992.

The Jersey Honorary Police Association said lessons had been learned as a result of the case.

Mitch Couriard, of the association, said: “The process has tightened up and I can reassure you that, providing someone has got a record, we can produce it. If someone hasn’t got a record, we can’t stop them.”

The States of Jersey Police said the sentence sent a strong message to anyone intent on committing offences against children.

The force said that everything would be done to seek justice for victims, no matter how long ago the offences were committed.