Sunday, June 26, 2016

'PC Strumpet' who was sacked after seducing murder victim's father, 82, avoids jail despite admitting ignoring crimes for years including sex offences against children

A police officer dubbed 'PC Strumpet' after it was alleged she seduced a grieving pensioner for his murdered son's fortune has avoided jail for ignoring crimes reported to her.

Sacked PC Clare Stretton, formerly of West Mercia Police, was handed an eight-month suspended sentenced after she admitted misconduct in a public office.

She was found to have failed to investigate complaints made by members of the public during her seven years as a family liaison officer. They included a statement from a vulnerable 13-year-old who had been abused, reports of historical sexual abuse, fraud and domestic abuse.

Last year Stretton was dismissed by the force for gross misconduct after being found to have had an 'inappropriate relationship' with pensioner Charles Foulkes, who died in 2011, over a ten-year period.

She is said to have groomed the 82-year-old in a bid to fleece him of the £180,000 he inherited after his son Colin was hacked to death with an axe.

Stretton had previously insisted she had done nothing wrong and that she had simply been a 'scapegoat' after complaints from Mr Foulkes's three daughters over her behaviour. She was accused of taking up to £100,000 from Mr Foulkes. Records showed he paid up to £15,000 directly into her bank account.

Relatives of the pensioner, from Church Stretton in Shropshire, claimed he became infatuated with Stretton, then 37. They also alleged the ex-officer flaunted herself and wore low-cut tops and mini-skirts in front of him

Daughters Michele Pugh, 67, Charmaine Jones, 57, and Carla Kelly, 51, lodged papers at the High Court in 2014 which alleged Mr Foulkes took Stretton on trips and gave her gifts and money.

Stretton was eventually dismissed after a two-day hearing. Three charges against her on breaching standards of professional behaviour, on honesty and integrity - including taking the £15,000 from Mr Foulkes - were found proved.

But speaking from her home in Telford, she insisted that she had given the elderly man 'a reason to live' and that she would do the same again if she had the chance. She told MailOnline: 'He was a mentor and a father figure to me. I helped him, and he helped me. 'There was no sexual relationship. There was nothing romantic. The only thing I did inappropriately was to have contact with him when I shouldn't have, but I did it as a friend and as a human being.

'I was cleared of any criminal activities, but the force wanted a scapegoat - and I'm it.'  

Det Supt Gary Watson, head of professional standards for Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police said: 'Clare Stretton was dismissed from West Mercia Police in October 2015 for discreditable conduct and a breach of honesty and integrity, a clear violation of our standards and Code of Ethics.

'As soon as we became aware of this violation we undertook an investigation which resulted in this criminal conviction.'

Original report here

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