Pc awaits sentence for seizing CCTV

Published: Friday 6th March 2015 by The News Editor

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A corrupt policewoman will be sentenced today after seizing CCTV footage of a street bust-up to be used as a “tool to blackmail” Liverpool footballer Steven Gerrard.

Helen Jones, 33, a former Pc with Merseyside Police, obtained the footage by “flashing her warrant card” to the manageress of a bank.

The incident involved friends of Gerrard, the then-England captain, becoming involved in a row with other men at a bar near his home in Formby, Merseyside, which spilled out on to the street and was caught on the CCTV cameras of a nearby bank.

Local businessman Paul Lloyd, 35, claimed Gerrard “threw the first punch” but at an earlier hearing, prosecutors said the Liverpool midfielder was acting as a peacemaker on the evening of August 4 2013.

Jones, 33, did not deny improperly using her status as a police officer to get the CCTV and admitted misconduct in a public office but claimed she was doing a favour for a friend.

But during a three day hearing, known as a trial of issue last November, a judge said he found her account “wholly implausible”.

She was off-duty and on a career break when she went to the Lloyds branch in Formby and took the footage, which the prosecution claimed was for “criminal purposes”.

Judge Stuart Baker ruled Jones acted for “base motives” and described her as a “practised and persistent liar”.

He said the CCTV was secured to use it “possibly as a lever to cause Mr Gerrard to pay money to suppress it or, at the very least, to use it in a way which would potentially cause embarrassment, as has in fact occurred”.

He added: “Whatever the whole truth may be, she has chosen not to tell it to me.”

Following the incident, Gerrard faced “demands and threats” from Mr Lloyd, the court heard, amid an atmosphere of “unpleasantness” and “menace,” with claims of money being offered by the press for the footage.

Gerrard’s lawyers and Liverpool FC became involved and police called in, with their investigation leading to Jones’s arrest.

The CCTV has never been made public.

Jones, who has resigned from Merseyside Police, is on bail and will be sentenced at Preston Crown Court later today.

Published: Friday 6th March 2015 by The News Editor

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