Former Cleveland Police officer jailed for 12 years for string of sex offences
A former policeman who preyed on teenage girls for sex has been jailed for 12 years.
Former Cleveland Police officer David Waller has been described by a judge as ‘a sexual predator’ after being jailed for a string of sex offences against teenagers.
In statements read to Teesside Crown Court, the victims described the impact Waller had on them.
“It is utterly humiliating when you find you’ve been used by someone who you regarded as trustworthy,” said one victim.
“My parents were devastated to discover I was treated in that way.
“They feel failures as parents because they think they let me down.”
Another victim said she found the court case stressful and embarrassing.
“It was dreadful having to discuss my sexual history with strangers and in a public court,” she said.
“What Waller did to me deprived me of a normal young life.
“It’s not the life I expected for myself.”
During a trial lasting four weeks, a jury heard Waller targeted teenagers, including one girl from Sunderland.
He boasted of his job as a police officer, and he had his own house and car.
One victim told the jury she was shown his police uniform hanging up in his wardrobe.
“I thought I would be safe because he was a policeman,” she said.
The court heard Waller’s only adult victim was a woman who had reported a crime to him in his capacity as a police officer.
Waller, having obtained her phone number, bombarded her with calls before starting a relationship with her.
The court Waller’s sexual preferences were illustrated by two text messages he sent to friends.
In one message, he boasted about visiting a brothel in Poland in which all the girls ‘looked about 14’, and in another he advised a friend to ‘get a 14-year-old’.
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Waller, 34, of Eastleigh, Thornaby, was convicted after a trail lasting three weeks of rape, three charges of inciting underage girls to take part in sexual activity, three charges of meeting or attempting to meet a girl following sexual grooming, two charges of indecent assault of a child, and one charge of misconduct in public office.
He was cleared of two charges of rape, and a charge of sexual assault.
Nick Lumley, QC, defending, said: “There is very little I can properly say on his behalf following the jury’s guilty verdicts.
“Mr Waller was of previous good character, and given his previous employment, his time in prison may be harder than time for other prisoners.
“Totality of sentence is the most important thing to bear in mind.”
The Recorder, Mr Toby Hedworth QC, sentenced Waller to 12 years in prison.
“You are a sexual predator,” the recorder told Waller.
“Your unhealthy sexual interest in teenagers was never better illustrated than in those text messages.
“It is clear you used your position in the community and as a police officer to target young girls, some of whom were vulnerable both due to their age and other factors.
“Members of the public need to be confident they can contact a police officer without being in fear of being taken advantage of.”
Waller was made the subject of a lifelong order restricting his unsupervised access to children, and he must register as a sex offender for life.
The recorder commended Detective Sergeant Paul West of Cleveland Police for his ‘meticulous’ work in the case.
A spokesman for Cleveland Police said: “There is clearly no place in the police service for the likes of David Waller.
“Such behaviour is absolutely intolerable and repugnant, and when any such allegations are made we will robustly investigate and work to bring people before the courts.
“The actions of this person do not reflect the values of our officers and staff, and it is right that he is now behind bars.
“We continue to work to build confidence for victims to come forward and bring offending out of the shadows and into the light.
“These are brave individuals and their courage must be recognised and applauded.”