Former police officer sent to prison for child sex offence
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A 24-year-old former police officer has been sent to prison after he pleaded guilty to a child sex offence.
PC Luke Christopher Horner, a former officer with Thames Valley Police (TVP), based in Amersham, appeared at Northampton Crown Court on August 3 to plead guilty to one count of engaging in penetrative sexual activity with a child aged 13-15.
The plea related to an incident on June 11 this year when Horner drove over an hour from his home in Aylesbury in order to meet a 13-year-old girl in Rushden who he would later go on to seriously sexually assault by engaging in penetrative sexual activity, some of which he recorded video footage of on the victim’s phone.
He was arrested a short time later following an investigation by Northamptonshire Police and immediately suspended from duty by TVP.
After pleading guilty to the offence at the hearing in August, Horner returned to the same court today (October 6) where he was sentenced to six years and four months in prison.
During sentencing, the court heard from a relative of the young girl who said in her victim personal statement: “How can I sleep at night knowing what he did? How can he? How did he go into work, put on his uniform and face his colleagues knowing he had broken the law? I feel sick to my stomach every time I think about it.”
Lead Investigator - Detective Sergeant Sarah Osborne from Northamptonshire Police said: “No sentence can make up for what Luke Horner has done but I hope the conclusion of this case, and the fact that he is now going to spend time in prison, provides some small comfort to the family of this young girl.
“I want to commend them for the trust they put in us to investigate this crime and for their support throughout – neither of which we have ever taken for granted.
“As the relative of this young girl said in her victim impact statement – how could Luke Horner go into work and put on that uniform, all the while knowing what he had done?
“His behaviour and his actions go against everything we stand for within policing and it is people like him that we continue to work relentlessly to expose and to remove for good.
"I hope this case demonstrates just how seriously we take the protection of children in this county and that it doesn’t matter who you are if you commit an offence, we will do everything we can to put you where you where you belong – behind bars.”
Head of Child Safeguarding for Northamptonshire Police - Detective Chief Inspector Jen Castle said: “We are so pleased to have secured justice for the child in this case.
“Horner’s conviction and sentencing also demonstrates a positive outcome for policing.
“Police officers and staff who think they can break the law have no place in our profession. Upholding the law and maintaining professionalism are our top priorities.”
Horner resigned from Thames Valley Police on July 26, 2023.
Thames Valley Police made an immediate referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), which decided that the matter should be subject to a local investigation by the force.
An Accelerated Misconduct Meeting took place on 4 September 2023, where it was found that Horner’s behaviour amounted to gross misconduct.
Former PC Horner would have been dismissed if he were still serving and he is to be placed on the Barred List, meaning he is prevented from re-entering the police service.