A FORMER Met Police officer ‘will not serve an easy sentence’ in prison after he was jailed for sexually assaulting a young girl last year.
Andrew Kirkland, of Stoney Stanton, Leicester, was today (February 3) convicted of sexual assault after almost three hours of jury deliberations.
The verdict came after a three-day trial in which Reading Crown Court heard how Kirkland performed a sex act on himself over a young girl, from Berkshire, when he thought she was sleeping in March 2021.
The lewd and shocking incident came just three days after Kirkland had searched for porn of girls being ‘violated’ while asleep or passed out.
Cries of relief could be heard from the girl’s family in the public gallery as the 42-year-old disgraced former copper held his head in his hands as the the guilty verdict came in.
READ MORE: Everything from day one of the trial
And now following the trial, this newspaper can reveal that the seedy ex-London-based policeman, was sacked by the Metropolitan Police after he was caught calling chat lines with his work phone back in 2014.
This was one of a number of disturbing revelations to come out during Kirkland’s sentencing as the court also heard that the young girl had to be tested for HIV following the March 2021 incident.
Victim impact statements from the girl’s mother and father were read during the hearing which revealed that their child has been “suffering” since the incident as she has nightmares about Kirkland and thinks she sees him around.
Her mother said the girl questions why she was not believed and struggles to trust people.
“My child will have to recover from this trauma in what should have been an innocent childhood”, her mother said.
Kirkland was convicted after a jury heard how he went into the girl’s room at around 3am when he thought she was sleeping.
The Leicester man performed a sex act on himself and took naked pictures of the girl.
READ MORE: Everything from day two of the trial
In the morning, the girl, who the court heard had a bed-wetting problem, raised the alarm and said it was Kirkland who had wet her bed.
She described feeling droplets on her leg and on her bedding.
Scientific analysis later found large patches of semen (as big as 30cm) that matched Kirkland’s DNA spread across the girl’s bedding and on her night clothes.
Kirkland’s account was that he had masturbated that same evening and had wiped semen from his belly onto his hands.
He claimed he had transferred the semen onto the sheets when he changed the girl’s bedding afterwards.
But the jury unanimously rejected this account after hearing evidence from the prosecution, which included internet searches for pornography of girls being violated’ while sleeping or passed out just three days before the incident occured.
Prosecuting, Paul Fairley said Kirkland had a previous conviction after he stole money from the Metropolitan Police service, used his work phone to call seedy chat lines, and filled his personal car with a police credit card.
Defending, Colin McCarraher said: “When he gets to the other side of the prison wall, that is not going to be an easy sentence to serve.
READ MORE: Everything from day three of the trial
“He is an ex-copper and it is never easy to serve in one Her Majesty’s prison.
“That is aggravated by the fact he is in for a sexual offence against a child.”
Sentencing, Her Honour Judge Real lambasted Kirkland for his inappropriate behaviour towards a “young and “vulnerable” girl who was asleep at the time of the incident.
The judge said Kirkland “took his opportunity” when he realised the girl was not wearing underwear in bed having watched pornography of sleeping girls just days earlier.
Speaking of the impact the incident had on the girl, the judge added: “This has been difficult not just for the girl but for those close to her.”
Kirkland was sentenced to four years in prison for sexual assault of a child under the age of 13 by Judge Real.
He will serve half of this before being released on licence. He will remain on the sex offenders register for the rest of his life.
Speaking to this newspaper after the sentence, the girl’s father said he was “relieved” but wished Kirkland’s prison sentence had been longer.
Her mother said she was glad she could tell her daughter she was “safe” and that “she is believed.”