A FORMER Devon and Cornwall Police officer has admitted indecently assaulting children while serving in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, but has been spared jail for the time being.
Daniel Howard Bryant, 65, pleaded guilty to 10 separate charges at Taunton Crown Court on Monday.
Bryant, of Moreton Avenue, Bideford, wore a beige jacket and dark trousers for his court appearance. He was with his wife, who did not enter the court to watch her husband plead.
He stood in the dock, speaking only to confirm his name and enter pleas to 14 charges.
He admitted indecently assaulting a male between January 1969 and December 1970 and committing a like offence between March 1974 and July 1974.
He also admitted committing an indecent assault on a boy aged under 16 between January 1982 and January 1983 and two other like offences.
Bryant pleaded guilty to committing three identical offences during 1983 and committing another indecent assault on a boy under 16 between January 1980 and January 1983.
He admitted a tenth charge, of indecent assault on a boy aged under 16, between May 1985 and September 1985.
He denied four charges, three of indecent assault and one of committing an act of gross indecency with a child aged under 14, which was alleged to have taken place in 1976.
After negotiations with Bryant’s defence team, the Crown Prosecution Service agreed to drop those four charges on grounds he would receive no more serious a sentence should he be found guilty of them at trial.
Bryant’s appearance before Judge David Ticehurst was his third at Taunton Crown Court, having first appeared in May.
Fiona Elder, for the defence, said since that first date Bryant had been aware what would be likely to happen to him.
“He’s under no illusions as to what type of sentence he will receive,” she said.
She asked for sentencing to be adjourned and said Bryant wished for the judge to read character references.
“I recognise these will have little impact,” she said.
She also asked for Bryant to be granted unconditional bail. “He has loose ends to tie up financially,” she said.
Judge Ticehurst granted bail and told Bryant he must return to court for sentencing on September 12.
“You should be under no illusions whatsoever,” he said, “you will face an immediate custodial sentence.”
He also told Bryant, who was awarded the British Empire Medal in 1985, he would have to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register before leaving the court.