Police officers sabotaged series of child sex abuse cases, jury hears
PUBLISHED: 15:21 17 January 2019 | UPDATED: 15:28 17 January 2019
Two police officers from Colchester allegedly sabotaged a string of child sex abuse cases out of laziness, self-preservation and a ‘cynical disdain’ for accusers, a jury has heard.
Detective Constables Sharon Patterson, 49, and Lee Pollard, 47, are accused of forging documents and concealing evidence over a three-year period.
The opening of a trial at the Old Bailey on Thursday, January 17, heard the Essex Police officers, who were in a relationship, had told their superiors false information about the cases.
Alexandra Healy QC, prosecuting, said: “The allegations against them involve the forging of documents, concealment of evidence and the misrepresentation of the state of investigations, and the evidence involved in investigations, to supervising officers.
“The effect was that allegations involving child sex offences were not properly investigated.
“The motivation appears to have been a combination of laziness, self-preservation and sometimes a cynical disdain for complainants in these child abuse allegations.”
Patterson and Pollard each deny three counts of misconduct in a public office between 2011 and 2014.
One count against Patterson involves a teenager who said she was raped by her father repeatedly from the age of six which was seemingly supported by a sister’s previous allegations.
Patterson interviewed their mother but instead recorded she was “unwilling” to make a statement, it was alleged.
The mother later left an ‘urgent’ message with another officer asking Patterson for an update.
The jury heard Patterson emailed back to her colleague: “URGENT!!!! ****ing cheek of the woman!! I have left tons of messages on her answer machine and she NEVER responds to them.”
Patterson allegedly advised a supervisor that the case should be dropped, saying the claims were down to a “bitter” ex-wife.
Patterson’s “deceit”, the prosecutor said, “directly contributed to this investigation being brought to a close”.
Pollard allegedly removed and destroyed four photographs that were “important exhibits” to an investigation and also misrepresented evidence to his supervisor so no further action was taken in a separate probe.
The trial continues.