A disgraced Metropolitan Police officer who sexually assaulted a seven-year-old girl after sneaking into her bedroom at night has been jailed for four years.
Andrew Kirkland, 42, crept into his victim’s room and pulled down her bed sheets before performing a sex act, Reading Crown Court heard.
Jurors were told that traces of his semen were found on the child’s pyjamas and sheets after her mother suspected Kirkland and handed them over to police.
The jury returned a unanimous verdict Thursday following a four-day trial, finding Kirkland guilty of sexual assault on a girl under the age of 13 years.
Judge Kirsty Real sentenced him to four years’ imprisonment and he will remain on the sex offenders’ register for life.
Kirkland, a former neighbourhood officer based in Ickenham, London, was kicked out of the Met for theft and fraud in 2014, the court heard.
At trial, prosecutor Paul Fairley explained how Kirkland encountered a seven-year-old child in Berkshire in March 2021.
He told the jury that Kirkland had gone into the child’s room at night and had pleasured himself over her, believing the little girl was asleep.
His horrifying assaults were uncovered when the child told her mum a man had taken photos of her without clothes on.
Now the former neighbourhood officer, who was based in Ickenham, London, is beginning a lengthy jail sentence.
Kirkland, 42, repeatedly denied the charge, telling cops: “I’m not going to admit to something I haven’t done.”
But his DNA was found on the little one’s pyjamas – and he’s now been found guilty following a four-day trial at Reading Crown Court.
Following the verdict, the victim’s family could be heard sighing with relief from the public gallery.
In a moving victim impact statement, the child’s mother said the schoolgirl still jumps at loud noises and fears any sighting of the defendant.
Kirkland was dismissed by the Met in 2014 after he was convicted of stealing money from work, as well as two counts of fraud by abuse of position.
One of the fraud charges relates to an incident where he used his work phone to call sex chat hotlines.
Colin McCarraher, who defended Kirkland, told the court “it will not be an easy sentence to serve”.
But Judge Kirsty Real said: “The victim was particularly vulnerable, ostensibly asleep and at a young age.”
‘PRISON WILL BE TOUGH’
She had earlier been told that detectives found internet searches on Kirkland’s phone for porn websites, which included how to get into bed with a sleeping person.
Kirkland, now of Stoney Stanton, Leicester, was also ordered to sign the Sex Offender’s Register for the rest of his life.
It comes as Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick is told by London’s mayor that she needs an urgent plan to address sexism and racism in the force.
Dick, who was appointed in 2017, has faced a number of serious scandalsfrom within the ranks since taking on the role.
She has refused to step down, even after the murder of Sarah Everard by serving officer Wayne Couzens.