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Thursday, 13 December, 2001, 14:25 GMT
'Panther' PC jailed for sex attacks
Tony White
White committed "a serious breach of trust"
A Nottinghamshire policeman praised for catching a notorious serial killer has been jailed for three years for indecent assault.

Tony White, 50, who was awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal for overpowering the notorious serial killer Donald Neilson in 1975, was sentenced at Derby Crown Court.

He was found guilty of six charges of indecent assault on 15 November.

He gave years of valuable service to the community, but there was a darker side to his character

Judge Granville Styler
The indecent assaults involved four teeange girls and took place at a cadet unit White ran in 1996.

Judge Granville Styler said White had committed "a serious breach of trust".

The judge said: "He gave years of valuable service to the community, but there was a darker side to his character.

"The young women he abused had treated him as a father figure, but he had still abused them."

Cherry brandy

A group of residents from White's home town of Mansfield Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire, protested outside the court at the "miscarriage of justice".

Andrew Mayer said White's the conviction was wrong because the girls had fabricated the evidence against him.

Tony White
Tony White overpowered the "Black Panther"
The group said it was aiming to clear his name.

During his trial, the court heard that White indecently assaulted the girls during camping trips in Nottinghamshire and the Isle of Wight in 1996.

The prosecution said one of them was given cherry brandy and woke up in a wood to find White indecently assaulting her.

White was suspended from duty after his arrest in 1999.

In 1975 he helped catch Neilson, known as the Black Panther, who had hijacked his patrol car at gunpoint in Mansfield Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire.

White overpowered Neilson and put an end to one of the UK's biggest murder hunts.

Neilson was later convicted of killing four people.

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