Police condemn the ‘wholly despicable’ actions of a disgraced officer from East Devon who sexually assaulted a woman on their first date in Exeter

A  disgraced police officer from East Devon has been spared jail after sexually assaulting a woman within minutes of their first date in Exeter.

PC Kane Haywood, 30, from Ottery St Mary, in East Devon, who met the woman on social media, started kissing her within minutes of first meeting at her home, and when she told him to stop, pushed his hand into her leggings and touched her intimately.

Haywood, a serving officer with Devon and Cornwall Police, was on Wednesday, January 24, handed a suspended prison sentence for sexual assault on a woman in Exeter.

He appeared before Bristol Crown Court for sentence having been convicted on January 16, 2024, of one count of sexual assault by penetration.

Haywood was found not guilty of two counts of rape in relation to the same incident in March 2021. He denied all charges.

He was given a 12-month custodial sentence, suspended for 18 months. Haywood will have to sign the Sexual Offenders’ Register for 10 years. He was also ordered to pay court costs.

Haywood, who was off-duty at the time of the offence, will now face disciplinary proceedings within the force. He has been suspended from duty since his arrest.

Devon and Cornwall Police said the offence happened on March 29, 2021, after Haywood met the woman through Instagram.

Just hours later they met at her home and she was sexually assaulted by him after he followed her into her bedroom as she tried to get ready for their date.

He began kissing her and ignored her when she pushed him away, stuck his hand inside her leggings, and assaulted her by touching her intimately without consent.

Following sentencing, Assistant Chief Constable Steve Parker said: “Kane Haywood’s actions were wholly despicable, and he has quite rightly been convicted of sexual assault.

“This was a deeply worrying crime and we recognise the concern it will have caused within our communities.

“However, the public can be assured that the majority of our officers display exemplary behaviour every day and work extremely hard to uphold the integrity of policing.

“We want to send a very clear message to the public, and our own officers and staff, that maintaining the highest standards and culture within the force remains a top priority.

“Any wrongdoing or unacceptable behaviour will be subject to robust investigation.”

He said the force was ‘committed’ to reducing sexual violence and predatory behaviour, and to protecting women and girls from harm.

He said: “Our thoughts are with the brave victim who came forward to report this crime; she has displayed tremendous courage throughout this investigation and the justice process.

“We hope that seeing Haywood prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced, regardless of his position, will remind victims of sexual offences that they can talk to us, that they will be believed, and they will be treated with the utmost sensitivity.

“While this matter has now been dealt with from a criminal perspective, it remains subject to a full internal disciplinary process. Haywood remains suspended while this enquiry is completed.”

Officer in the case Detective Constable Hayley Willison added: “Haywood took advantage of the victim’s trust and committed a horrendous crime against her. I am pleased that she found the strength to report the incident, placing her trust in police and the Crown Prosecution Service to bring him to justice.

“I hope the conclusion of this case goes some way to providing closure for the victim, but I know that for every victim who comes forward there are others who do not. I would urge anyone who is the victim of a similar crime to talk to us. We will believe and support you, and we will work together with partners to bring perpetrators to justice.”

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