Paedophile police officer to have restraining order removed for assaulting law student Published duration 11 May 2017 image copyright Getty Images image caption Mr Ferguson had abused pupil Vanessa George at his home near Cambridge in November 2014 The order banning a convicted paedophile from having unsupervised contact with children should be reversed, an employment tribunal has ruled. Devon and Cornwall Police had imposed the ban on Mark Ferguson because of his sexual interest in children. He assaulted a 15-year-old girl he met on a Geography course. He pleaded guilty to one charge of sexual assault and one of misconduct. Mr Ferguson was at Preston Crown Court on Tuesday for sentencing. He was banned from having unsupervised contact with children and denied the right to work with children under the age of 16. image caption Mr Ferguson was a constable with Devon and Cornwall Police from 2001 until 2012 His lawyer argued at court in Exeter that such a sentence was “unduly severe” and not appropriate for a “young man in his early 30s” who has paid his “penance”. However, the employer, the force, said the order was appropriate and was following the correct procedure. The order was imposed after Mr Ferguson was arrested in November 2014 for assaulting a 15-year-old girl he met on a Geography course. He assaulted her at his home near Cambridge. When questioned by officers, he admitted sexually assaulting the girl and he was charged the following month. Jenny Landles, prosecuting, said Mr Ferguson “was very keen to visit pre-schools” and meet children in the playground. She said he was in a “totally inappropriate working environment” and his actions “brought the reputation of the police and the force into disrepute”. Mr Justice Griffith Williams said the order was inappropriate, given the circumstances and Mr Ferguson’s past history, and should be remitted to the tribunal for reconsideration. His order banning Mr Ferguson from working with children under the age of 16 was “appropriate” as he had already breached the condition attached to his previous conviction of making indecent images of children. But the panel of three judges said the condition was “unduly severe”. They said: “We are satisfied that the order is not appropriate but we are unable to recommend that it should be remitted to the tribunal for reconsideration.” The order is now being referred to the Employment Appeal Tribunal.