May 2012

Former Merseyside Police officer Simon Ferns jailed for sex offence 

A former Merseyside police constable convicted of the sexual grooming of a 15-year-old girl has been jailed for 15 months.

Simon Ferns, 43, was found guilty following a trial at Liverpool Crown Court.

He has also been dismissed from the force following a misconduct hearing.

Ch Supt John Young, from Merseyside Police, said Ferns’ behaviour was “completely unacceptable” adding that “no officer is above the law”.

Ferns has also been ordered to sign a Sexual Offender Prevention Order for eight years and cannot have unsupervised contact with children under the age of 16 without parental supervision.

He was ordered to sign the sex offenders register for ten years and will have a lifetime ban from working with children.

The charge followed an investigation by the Professional Standards Department managed by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

March 2012

‘Infatuated’ police officer Simon Ferns guilty of grooming Wirral teenager

A POLICE officer was found guilty of grooming a vulnerable 15-year-old girl.

PC Simon Ferns looked on open-mouthed as jurors delivered a unanimous guilty verdict after three hours of deliberation.

Ferns, 43, a community ward manager for Clatterbridge in Wirral, had denied grooming the sexually active teenager throughout his week-long trial.

He sat staring into space as his barrister discussed a date for sentencing and was heard to whisper: “I’m gobsmacked,” as he was ushered out of the room by supporters.

Liverpool Crown Court heard Ferns met the girl, then aged 13, when he took over patrolling the patch where she lived.

He was frequently called to her house because of anti-social behaviour carried out by her family and gave her his personal mobile number.

The court was told she had been in trouble with local girls after accusations of stealing their boyfriends.

In his defence Ferns told the court the girl got drunk on vodka and slept around and at one stage was taken home by a female colleague when she was caught performing a sex act.

He claimed he was trying to “keep her on the straight and narrow” by saying he could be her boyfriend but jurors disagreed and found that he had been grooming her.

Neil Fryman, prosecuting, accused Ferns of being “infatuated” with the teenager and mocked his claims to be helping her.

He said: “You are hoping against hope that this story of yours will be believed.

“You were blinded by the infatuation you had.

“You were like a fireman going and spraying lighter fuel on the fire.

“You were infatuated with her to such an extent that you would do anything to keep what you had going.”

Ferns consistently denied finding the girl attractive or touching her but did admit telling her he loved her and lying on his super kingsize bed with her watching Disney DVDs.

He also gave her lifts in his police van and told her teachers he was her dad so she could get out of lessons.

The court was told he called her ‘Hannah Montana’ after the childrens’ TV show and lied to his lodger, telling him she was 17.

His barrister, Bernadette Baxter, said: “The defendant is under no illusion about the type of sentence which will follow.”

Judge Robert Warnock agreed to a pre-sentence report on Ferns, of Hurst Bank, Birkenhead.

Ferns was granted bail ahead of sentencing next month.

Independent Police Complaints Commissioner Ms Naseem Malik said: “Ferns forged a relationship with a vulnerable young girl, which would have been inappropriate for anyone of his age, but especially for a police officer who was supposed to be assisting the family.

“His behaviour was totally unacceptable.

“I would like to praise the work of Merseyside Police in investigating. They demonstrated commitment to bring Ferns to justice.