A perverted PCSO who had a sexual relationship with an underage girl after befriending her on social media has been jailed.
Joshua Paterson, 27, from Northwich , will spend the next four years and eight months behind bars for his crimes after he pleaded guilty to eight historical counts of sexual activity with a child and one count of sexual assault.
Paterson’s victim – who was just 15 when they met, while he was 22 – suffered mental health problems following their encounters between August 2012 and August 2013, Chester Crown Court heard.
Paterson went on to become a Police Community Support Officer with Cheshire Constabulary from February 2015 until he resigned from the force in May 2017.
His offences did not come to light until December last year, when the victim – who cannot be named for legal reasons – contacted police.
Detective Chief Inspector Julie Westgate, from Cheshire Constabulary’s professional standards department, said: “I welcome the outcome of this case and I hope that the sentence handed to Paterson provides some closure for the victim.
“Paterson was suspended from his role as soon as we became aware of the allegations and appropriate safeguarding measures were put in place.
“This case demonstrates that we treat all reports of sexual offences extremely seriously, irrespective of the circumstances.
“I urge anyone who believes that they have been a victim of sexual assault to come forward and report it. We have a dedicated team of specialist officers who are able to provide support to victims and witnesses throughout an investigation.”
Anyone looking to report a sexual offence can contact Cheshire police on 101.
Information can also be passed anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.