A former West Mercia Police officer who sexually assaulted two young girls on board a train has been sentenced, following a British Transport Police (BTP) investigation.
Leighton Phillips, 34, and of Forest road, Shropshire, was found guilty of two counts of sexual assault at Swansea Crown Court on 18 September.
On Thursday (Oct 15) Phillips was handed a two-year community order, ordered to attend 20 rehabilitation activity days, and was made subject to an electronically tagged curfew between 10pm and 7am for three months. He will also be subject to notification on the sex offenders’ register for five years.
On 1 February at around 5pm, Phillips was travelling from Cardiff to Shrewsbury after the Wales V Italy Six Nations match. A 14-year-old girl was standing in the aisle of the carriage near to where Phillips was sitting. She noticed Phillips was staring at her, before he then went on to start stroking her thigh.
The court heard how Phillips then went on to touch the thigh a second victim, an 11-year-old girl, who pushed his hand away when she noticed.
Distressed and upset, the two girls moved down the aisle to get away from Phillips, however, he continued to stare at them. Before the two girls alighted at Abergavenny station, a passenger challenged Phillips about the incident, to which he denied and replied, “I’m a police officer.”
The incident was reported to BTP and Phillips was met by officers at Shrewsbury station and arrested.
BTP Detective Inspector Paul Stanley said: “Tackling all forms of unwanted sexual behaviour on the railway is a priority for us – we take every report seriously and will thoroughly investigate all offences.
“I would like to commend the bravery of the victims and the support of the family in reporting the incident to police, and I hope that this conviction will encourage other victims of sexual offences to come forward and report incidents to us.
The officer in the case, Detective Constable Nicholas Donovan carried out a thorough and comprehensive investigation. I hope this serves as a strong reminder that sexual offenders will not be tolerated on the railway.
“We encourage anyone who experiences any issues on the railway to report it to us using our discreet 61016 text service.”