‘Arrogant’ ex-police officer jailed for sex offences against three girls

Phillip Abbiss
Phillip Abbiss

A former policeman has been jailed for nine years for historic sex offences against three young girls.

Phillip Abbiss was a serving officer with West Yorkshire Police at the time he preyed on a 13-year-old victim in her home.

Abbiss was also found guilty of offences against two nine-year-olds committed when he was a teenager in 1973.

A judge who sentenced Abbiss described him as an “arrogant bully” with a sense of “sexual entitlement” towards his victims.

Abbiss, of Valley Close, Alwoodley, Leeds, was found guilty of two offences of gross indecency with a child and two of indecent assault after a trial at Leeds Crown Court.

Jurors heard he targeted the two nine-year-old girls near his then home in Horsforth, Leeds, after deliberately isolating them.

One of the victims described in a statement read to the court how she still felt traumatised.

She said: “I have lived with this for over 40 years and it is not something that will ever leave me.”

She described how she initially reported the abuse in 2012 and was “devastated” when the Crown Prosecution Service and police chose to take no further action.

Abbiss was investigated over the offences in 2015.

The court heard Abbiss sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl in 1992 when he was a police officer.

The victim said she felt unable to report the incident for many years.

She said in a statement: “Who would believe me over a serving police officer?”

She added: “I have lived with this for over 25 years and it has sent me to some very dark places.”

Recorder Joanne Kidd told Abbiss he had instructed his legal team to “belittle” the victim of the 1992 attack during cross-examination when she gave evidence in court.

She said: “It is symptomatic of your arrogance and sense of entitlement to put that before the jury as a potential line of cross-examination.”

The defendant’s barrister, Mark Kelly, said Abbiss continued to deny the offences.

After the hearing, Det Chief Supt Oz Khan, of West Yorkshire Police’s Professional Standards Directorate, said: “It is regrettable that we were unable to secure a prosecution against Abbiss at the time of the first complainant coming forward.

“The allegation was taken seriously and a file submitted to the CPS with the information known at the time; however they advised that there was not enough evidence to charge him with any offences.

“In 2015, two further victims came forward and an investigation by Leeds Child Safeguarding Unit resulted in him being charged.”