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West Wales cop charged with sexual assault by penetration

IT HAS been confirmed by Dyfed-Powys Police this evening (Feb 7) that one of their officers has been charged with the offence of sexual assault by penetration.

DC Sam Garside, based in the Ceredigion division, has been suspended from duties since July 2023 when it was reported that he had allegedly committed an offence while off duty in December 2021.

The 30-year-old will appear at Swansea Magistrates’ Court on March 6, 2024, The Herald understands.

Senior investigating officer Huw Davies told this newspaper: “This is a serious allegation, and I recognise it will cause concern among our communities.

“I would like to give an assurance that swift action was taken when the allegation was made, and we now await the result of the criminal justice process.

“Legal proceedings are now underway, and it is important to avoid further commentary while this process takes place.”

In UK law, “sexual assault by penetration” is a criminal offense that falls under the Sexual Offences Act 2003. This offense involves intentionally penetrating the vagina, anus, or mouth of another person with a part of the body (such as a penis or finger) or with an object, without their consent.

Consent is a crucial element in such cases, and any sexual activity without clear and voluntary consent is considered a criminal act. The law recognises that individuals have the right to control their own bodies and engage in consensual sexual activities.

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 categorizes various sexual offenses and establishes the legal framework for addressing such crimes.

The severity of penalties for sexual assault by penetration can vary depending on factors such as the degree of harm caused, the age of the victim, and any aggravating circumstances.

Legal consequences may include imprisonment, fines, and registration as a sex offender.