Sex case Pc ‘disgrace to the force’

Published: Thursday 2nd April 2015 by The News Editor

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A serving policeman who had sex with women he met on duty has been convicted of misconduct in a public office with his chief branding him “a disgrace” to the force.

Pc Adam Rushton was found guilty of five counts of misconduct and another of breaching data protection rules by obtaining personal data.

The 37-year-old, of Newcastle-under-Lyme, had denied 10 counts of misconduct and two of breaching data protection laws while employed by Staffordshire Police.

He was acquitted on the remaining counts.

The jury of nine men and two women returned unanimous verdicts on all 12 charges on the indictment.

Speaking immediately afterwards, Deputy Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police Nick Baker called Rushton “a disgrace to the police service” who had “brought shame on himself, his colleagues” and the force.

During the Birmingham Crown Court trial, prosecutors accused the officer of taking advantage of his post as a beat officer in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, to have sex with women, most of whom he met through his job.

Giving evidence, Rushton, who has been with the force for 10 years, conceded some of his actions were “not very professional” but rejected claims that his conduct amounted to criminal misbehaviour.

During the trial, Rushton said he never expected to end up in the dock after going to one woman’s home and having oral sex.

“It’s not very professional, I fully accept that and that it’s wrong,” he told jurors. “But no way whatsoever did I think I’d be standing here.”

He had also denied sexual contact with another woman he met after she called police complaining about an unrelated criminal matter.

Rushton was also convicted of two counts of sex with another woman while on duty – although he had not met her while he was on the beat.

He was also found guilty of intending to have sex with another woman, while still on the clock, after they exchanged “playful and flirty” text messages during his shift.

The offences of which he was convicted happened between 2008 and 2012.

The indictment involved seven alleged victims and he was convicted in relation to four, two of whom he was found guilty of having sex with while on duty.

Rushton only denied sleeping with one of the women but did not accept his behaviour in relation to the others was criminal misconduct.

However, when first interviewed over the allegations in April 2013, he denied sleeping with all but one.

Rushton had an impressive professional record as a neighbourhood policing officer, with many letters of praise from senior officers.

Jurors were also told how he had twice been injured in the line of duty.

But crown prosecutor Duncan Bould said the constable’s duties brought him into contact with “vulnerable and frightened females, often in extreme circumstances” and he had “sought to take advantage of those situations to have sexual activity of some kind with them”.

None of the women made any complaints to police about Rushton.

He was conditionally bailed after the verdicts were read out and will be sentenced at the Crown Court on May 1.

After the hearing, Mr Baker apologised to the police officer’s victims on behalf of the force.

He said: “This was an astonishing breach of trust by an individual officer and he has badly let down vulnerable victims and their families.

“The public must be able to trust their police officers, and on this occasion they have been let down.

“We made the decision that Rushton should be prosecuted as a police officer, and hope this sends out a very strong message – no matter who you are, and what position you hold, if you commit crime you will be dealt with firmly and robustly.”

He added that after the allegations came to light in 2013, the matter was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission which carried out an investigation.

Mr Baker said that as a result “robust processes” were now in place to prevent such incidents happening.

Published: Thursday 2nd April 2015 by The News Editor

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