Monday, March 31, 2014

Woman who performed a sex act upon a uniformed British cop wins £6,600 in damages from the Met for the psychological damage it had caused

A woman who performed a sex act on a uniformed police officer has won £6,600 in damages from the Metropolitan Police today.

The 37-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, asked PC James Formby, 34, to kiss her when he attended her home during a patrol in Bromley, south-east London.

But the woman brought a damages case claiming she had been too drunk to consent when she later performed a sex act on the officer, who is not married.

The woman had been to a nightclub before her boyfriend allegedly attacked her in the street.

Formby and another officer attended their home in the early hours 19 September, 2009, and he stayed at the scene when the boyfriend was arrested.

The court heard this week how the woman 'asked Formby to kiss her' before 'removing his kit-belt and performing fellatio on him'.

The woman later insisted she had no memory of what happened until she 'woke up' during the sex act.

The court heard he later sent her a text message saying he wanted to 'do this again', but the woman reported the incident, leading to Formby facing a charge of misconduct in a public office and dismissal from the force.

After the ensuing damages claim came before the Central London County Court this week, Judge Edward Bailey today awarded a total of £6,600 in compensation to the woman for the psychological harm caused by the encounter.

The woman said she suffered from depression, the hair loss condition alopecia and underwent months of counselling after the incident.

The judge also blasted the Met Police Commissioner for fighting the case. Giving his judgment today, Judge Bailey said: 'Both parties flirted but the claimant acted in a very sexualised manner.

'She was an active party in the initiation and commission of the oral sex. At no time did she pull away or ask the officer to desist. 'I conclude that there was consent to the sexual activity that took place.

But he added: 'The more extreme and outrageous the claimant's conduct was the more the officer should have appreciated that here was a woman whose psychological state was such that sexual contact would cause harm.

'It is certainly not commonplace for a woman to throw herself at a man she has just met. For a police officer on duty and in uniform every alarm bell in his head should have been ringing. 'But desire overcame judgement, it should have been the other way around.

'The officer didn't foresee the harm to the claimant but he did not stop to think that having sexual relations with this woman would cause her psychological damage.'

He added: 'I express my disappointment that the Commissioner contested these proceedings. 'This was a publicly-funded case and there can be no doubt that each side has incurred costs well in excess of any sum that any judge could possibly award for the events in question. 'There is no obvious financial reason for contesting the case.

'The defendant (Met Police) has forced the claimant to come to court stand in the witness box and recall, recount and be questioned on an episode of her life that she would dearly like to forget. 'She has had to do this for no obvious good reason.'

Formby, who gave evidence in the trial, maintained he had not taken advantage of the woman. 'She asked me to kiss her and I was a bit taken aback because I was a police officer on duty but on the other hand I'm a single guy,' he said.

'We ended up in the bedroom...She was on the bed, she had no bottom half on but was wearing a corset on the top half.

'We kissed, it was fairly frantic on her part and quite passionate. She was very clear physically about what she wanted to happen.'

The woman, sitting with her publicly-funded legal team, wept during the hearing. She told the court she was angry that Formby had not faced 'a more serious charge like rape'.

But her changing account of the night was severely criticised by the Met Commissioner's lawyer. Jonathan Loades said the woman had presented 'a completely different version of events to that which was originally mentioned to the police'.

He had urged the court to reject a medical report on the woman's drunkeness, after the expert had failed to recognise the woman was 'a chronic depressive for a long time'.

Ruth Brander, for the woman, admitted her client had failed to rebuff the cop.

'It has never been the case the woman said 'no', but the issue is whether the witness had capacity to consent, given the state she was in.

'In terms of the misconduct offence I fully accept that what happened should not have happened.

'What I refuse to accept is that she was drunk or on drugs.'

In 2010, Formby, from Maidstone, Kent, was handed a 20 week prison sentence suspended for two years after he admitted misconduct in a public office.

He was also told to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and pay £1,000 in prosecution and defence costs.

Original report here




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