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Thursday, 15 November, 2001, 20:50 GMT
'Panther' PC guilty of indecent assault
Tony White
Tony White was awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal
A Nottinghamshire policeman, who was praised for his role in catching the "Black Panther" killer, has been found guilty of indecently assaulting teenage girls.

Tony White, who was awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal for overpowering the notorious serial killer Donald Neilson, had denied all six charges against him.

But at Derby Crown Court on Thursday, White was found guilty of indecently assaulting four girls from a cadet unit he ran in 1996.

Sentencing was adjourned for reports and White was granted bail.

Camping trips

However Judge Granville Styler warned him that he would almost certainly go to prison for what he done.

The court had been told that White indecently assaulted the girls during camping trips in Nottinghamshire and to the Isle of White in 1996.

Three of his victims were aged just 15 at the time.

Tony White
Tony White overpowered the Black Panther

The prosecution said one of them was plied with cherry brandy, before waking up in a wood to find White indecently assaulting her.

The 50-year-old policeman has been suspended from duty since his arrest in 1999.

He first hit the headlines in 1975 when he helped catch Donald Neilson, also known as the "Black Panther".

White overpowered Neilson, who had hi-jacked his patrol car at gunpoint in Mansfield Woodhouse.

'Victim distress'

It ended one of Britain's biggest murder hunts and White was awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal.

Neilson was later convicted of killing four people.

In a statement on Thursday, Nottinghamshire Police said: "The inquiry leading to PC Tony White's conviction has been both long and thorough.

"We have been conscious of the distress and unhappiness it has caused the victims and their close families.

"We sincerely hope they can now start to rebuild their lives."

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