A former Thames Valley Police officer has been jailed after he sexually assaulted a child.   

Luke Christopher Horner, 24, was sentenced at Northampton Crown Court to six years’ and four months’ imprisonment for engaging in penetrative sex with a child aged 13-15.

Horner was based at Amersham Police Station at the time of his crime, which took place while he was off-duty in Rushden, Northamptonshire, on June 11, 2023.

He was convicted last month following the sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl.

Northamptonshire Police investigated the matter, and Horner was arrested and taken into custody on June 13 and suspended from duty the same day. He resigned from Thames Valley Police on July 26.

The force said they immediately referred him to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, which decided there should be a local investigation by Thames Valley Police.

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Then an accelerated misconduct meeting took place on September 4, which found that Horner’s behaviour amounted to gross misconduct.

Former PC Horner would have been dismissed if he were still serving, the force said.

He will be placed on the Barred List, meaning he is prevented from ever re-entering the police service.

Thames Valley Police’s Deputy Chief Constable Ben Snuggs said: “We are all appalled by Horner’s behaviour, and our thoughts remain with the young girl and her family who have been affected.

“In parallel with the criminal investigation, and as soon as Horner’s offending came to light, Thames Valley Police took decisive action to suspend him, refer the case to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and instigate misconduct procedures.

“No member of our workforce is above the law and I hope the swift action taken by our force and by the courts goes some way to helping restore the public’s trust and confidence in policing.”

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) reacted to the news of the sentencing.

A spokesperson said: “As a police officer it was Horner’s duty to protect young people and he would have been well aware of the devastating impact that child sexual abuse can have on its victims. Despite this, he inflicted abuse on a 13-year-old girl, while filming it.”

The NSPCC Helpline is available for advice and support for adults, who have experienced sexual abuse as a child, or for those concerned about a child’s welfare or safety at help@nspcc.org.uk

Children can contact Childline at any time of the day or night on 0800 1111 or at childline.org.uk