Thursday, September 08, 2016

British cop, 47, faces jail after admitting two sex attacks against women while on duty

A serving police officer is facing jail today after admitting two sex attacks against women while he was on duty.

PC Steven Walters, 47, has been told he will 'almost inevitably' be jailed after admitting sexually assaulting one victim in February 2015 and another in April.

The father, who is currently suspended from his job, admitted two counts of sexual assault on the first day of his trial at Stafford Crown Court this week.

The officer, who was based at Sutton Coldfield police station in Birmingham, West Midlands, was warned by a judge that a prison sentence was 'almost inevitable'.

Walters had denied all the charges against him during a previous hearing at Birmingham Magistrates' Court.

No details of the offences were given in court but the Crown Prosecution Service accepted both pleas and did not proceed with a third allegation of misconduct in public office because they said it was not in the public interest.

Harpreet Sandhu, defending, said his client accepted that a custodial sentence would follow and asked for the case to be adjourned for a pre-sentence report.

In adjourning the case until September 29, Judge Paul Glenn said: 'I will adjourn the case for a pre-sentence report. 'A custodial sentence is all but inevitable but I need to know more about you before passing sentence.'

Walters was charged in February following an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

After reviewing the evidence gathered by the IPCC the Crown Prosecution Service authorised the charges against Walters.

The IPCC began an investigation after a referral from the force which had received a complaint from one of the officer's victims.

Derrick Campbell, IPCC Commissioner, said: 'Walters completely abused his position of trust and targeted vulnerable victims of crime for sexual purposes.

'I would like to praise the courage and bravery of the women who came forward to give evidence against him and hope that they can now move on with their lives in the knowledge that justice has been done.

'Such unprofessional and disgraceful conduct cannot go unchallenged and I hope that today's outcome reinforces the message that officers who behave in such a way will be exposed and brought before the courts where appropriate.'

Deputy Chief Constable Louisa Rolfe, of West Midlands Police, apologised on behalf of the force and said Walters had breached trust in 'such an abhorrent way'.

She sad: 'PC Steven Walters worked as part of our 24-7 response unit officers that the public rely upon in their hour of need.  'He has admitted abusing his position by sexually assaulting two women he encountered while on duty. I am sorry that an officer working for West Midlands Police has exploited the trust placed in him by two women when they deserved respect and support.

'PC Walters is currently suspended from duty and he will now face an internal misconduct hearing.

'We expect the highest standards of professionalism from all officers and police staff. Serving and protecting the public is paramount and it is vital that our communities have trust and confidence in everything that we do. 'To breach this trust in such an abhorrent way is totally unacceptable.

'Any officer or staff members that fails to uphold our force values and falls below the high standards we expect will be dealt with accordingly.'

Original report here

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