Serving police officer goes on trial accused of sexually assaulting young girl

A serving police officer has gone on trial accused of sexually assaulting a young girl.

John Stringer, 41, from Cardiff, works for Gwent Police.

He is charged with five offences against the girl which allegedly happened over a period from December 2019 to July 2021.

Stringer denies the charges which include two counts of sexual assault by touching, two counts of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, and one count of causing a child to watch a sexual act.

Prosecutor Ian Wright told the jury at Cardiff Crown Court: “At the time of these alleged offences this defendant was a serving police officer with Gwent Constabulary.”

Mr Wright said the defendant’s alleged abuse came to light after the girl made a disclosure to a teaching assistant at her primary school.

The school in Cardiff notified her parents and South Wales Police immediately.

Officers from the force then interviewed her on 15 July 2021.

The prosecutor said the victim had told police that Stringer had touched her inappropriately under a blanket and her clothing.

He also allegedly showed her pornographic videos with half-naked women in them and asked her to “mimic” the actions of the performers.

Cardiff Crown Court exterior. Pic: Tomos Evans

Image: Cardiff Crown Court

The court heard how the alleged offending paused during the COVID-19 lockdowns but later resumed when restrictions eased.

The court also heard the alleged offences are not related to Stringer’s activities as a policeman.

When he was arrested on 12 July 2021 Stringer, while under caution, told officers: “It’s a shock.”

He was interviewed and despite denying the girl’s account, was later charged.

The trial continues.

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