A senior Leighton Buzzard firefighter who had sex with an underage girl over a year-long period has been sentenced to three years in jail.
Yes, Leighton Buzzard is actually the name of a town in Bedfordshire, northwest of London. 3 years is not much of a sentence, not a deterrent, certainly not going to scare anyone straight. He'll probably be back out on the street next year. It's time British judges started taking child sex abuse seriously!
Paul Ayers, 46, committed the offences while working as a crew commander at Leighton Buzzard Fire Station.
It was a spectacular fall from grace for the officer, who has now been made subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order indefinitely.
Between July 2013 and August 2014 Ayers incited the underage teenager to engage in sexual activity.
Ayers, of Yew Tree Court, North Street, also made a large number of indecent images and videos of a child.
The majority of these were said to be in the least serious category (426 images and 11 videos).
But Ayers was found to be in possession of 11 pictures and eight videos which come under the most serious level.
Between November 2012 and March 2014 Ayers was also involved in online discussions over the distribution of pornographic images.
Ayers was charged last October and appeared at Luton Magistrates Court the following month.
He pleaded guilty to all offences on December 8 and has now been sentenced at Luton Crown Court.
Yesterday, a spokesman for Beds Fire and Rescue Service said: “Paul Ayers was employed at Leighton Buzzard Fire Station during the period when the offences he was convicted of were committed.
“Mr Ayers was suspended from his post as soon as Bedfordshire Police informed us of their investigation.
“Following a disciplinary investigation he was dismissed.
“Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service co-operated with Bedfordshire Police during their investigation and the charges do not relate to any actions by him relating to his employment.”
Beds Police refused to comment upon Ayers’ case.