A serving officer with Devon & Cornwall Police has today (January 24) been given a suspended prison sentence for sexual assault on a woman in Exeter.

PC Kane Haywood, 30, from East Devon, appeared before Bristol Crown Court for sentence having been convicted on 16 January 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. He will have to sign on to the Sexual Offenders’ Register for 10 years.

He was also ordered to pay 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.

The offence happened on 29 March 2021 after Haywood connected with the victim over Instagram. Just hours later they met at her home and she was sexually assaulted by him.

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.

“We are as committed as ever to reducing sexual violence and predatory behaviour, and to protecting women and girls from harm.

“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 said: “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.”

If you have any concerns in respect of any member of Devon & Cornwall Police please come forward and tell us what you know.

Anyone can report their concerns to us online or by telephone on 101. Information can be passed anonymously to independent charity Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555111, or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org

Allegations of corruption can also be reported online at Police corruption | Devon & Cornwall Police