March 1998

FORMER PC JAILED FOR RAPING GIRL, 11

A FORMER policeman who raped a girl when she was aged just 11 has been jailed for ten years after a retrial.

Peter Sharman (48), of Weston Rhyn, Oswestry, Shropshire, had abused the victim since she was nine, Birmingham Crown Court heard.

After being found guilty of two counts of rape by a majority verdicts, Sharman was told by Judge Brian Farrer, QC, that he had committed “terrible offences”.

Sharman had been granted a retrial by the Court of Appeal because a child witness at the original trial had not been sworn in. Sharman, who was also found guilty by a majority of indecency with a child and unanimously on a count of indecent assault, showed no emotion as he was led away to begin his sentence.

The judge imposed concurrent terms of ten years’ imprisonment on each count of rape, five years for indecent assault and two years for indecency with a child. Peter Rouch, QC, defending, had asked the judge to take into account the fact that Sharman would serve his sentence in “a very unpalatable regime” because of his previous employment.

A count of attempted rape, another of indecent assault and a further charge of indecency with a child were ordered to lie on the file after the jury could not reach verdicts on them.