Family tells of trauma over sex-abuse officer

Jonathan White was a firearms officer at South Yorkshire Police
Jonathan White was a firearms officer at South Yorkshire Police
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A violent paedophile jailed for raping a young girl was a police officer at the time of the offences, the Yorkshire Post can reveal.

Jonathan White served with South Yorkshire Police for more than eight years and was a trusted firearms officer before he resigned from the service in 2009.

But his public duties hid a dark secret – a series of sexual assaults on a girl that began when she was eight and ended when she was 10.

Now, as White begins a 12-year prison sentence, relatives of his victim have spoken for the first time of the pain he brought to their family.

The girl’s grandmother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said it had been chilling to hear her give evidence in court.

“Six years ago, I buried my husband,” she said.

“Four years ago, I buried my daughter.

“But this pain was 100 times worse than burying my daughter.

“My heart was going out to my granddaughter and telling her to keep talking, to keep control and to let it all come out.”

White, 41, was charged with two counts of rape, two counts of sexual assault and two counts of inciting sexual activity with a child.

He denied the allegations but a jury unanimously found him guilty of all charges after a three-day trial at Nottingham Crown Court.

The girl’s grandmother said: “Somebody like that does not deserve to be on this earth.

“It was extremely shocking. Ever since I found out, I have been wondering ‘how could anybody do that, especially a police officer?’

“People look up to police officers. We all do. But this one abused a child aged eight and I have lost respect for the police now.

“It breaks my heart to think that somebody could do something like that.

“It is so distressing and I am very relieved that he has been convicted.”

White joined South Yorkshire Police in May 2001 and served with the force until November 2009, when he quit after being prosecuted for an unrelated assault.

He was a member of South Yorkshire’s Firearms Support Group when he resigned.

The partner of the girl’s grandmother said the ordeal had severely affected the whole family.

“I sat in court with tears streaming down my face,” he said. “My partner has been ill because the case has made her so run down and she is only just recovering.

“It is devastating and we have lived with this for such a long time.

“It is incredible to think that this was an officer who had the right to carry a gun.”

White’s sexual offending began eight years ago. His victim is now aged 16.

She bravely went to a police station to report the crimes before she had even mentioned them to her mother.

“We don’t know what effect this will have,” her grandmother’s partner said.

“She appears to be coping well but she is carrying the experience around in her head and we fear that in years to come it will have a massive effect on her.”

White, of Brunswick Gardens, Sheffield, was brought to justice after an investigation by Nottinghamshire Police.

He was jailed for 12 years for each of the rapes, three years for inciting sexual activity and 12 months for the sexual assault charges. The sentences will run concurrently.

He was also put on the sex offenders’ register for life and banned from working with children.

Dectective Constable Lisa Saporita, of Nottinghamshire’s child abuse investigation unit, said: “White’s victim has gone through a tremendous ordeal – not only has she had to endure the assaults but then has also faced questioning in court. Despite this she has shown incredible strength and bravery in speaking out about the abuse and because of her admirable courage, White will spend a significant time in prison.”