PC jailed for 3 years for sex on duty

PC Adam Rushton
PC Adam Rushton

A police officer who had oral sex with vulnerable women while on duty has been jailed for three years.

Pc Adam Rushton, branded “a disgrace to the police service” on conviction last month, was sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court today for five counts of misconduct.

The 37-year-old, of Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, was also found guilty of breaching data protection laws while a Staffordshire Police officer based in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent.

During his three-week trial, Rushton conceded that some of his actions were “not very professional” but denied that it amounted to criminal conduct.

Judge Murray Creed, sentencing, said: “This case is personal tragedy for you and your family. As a police officer you were in a position of trust with the public.”

The court heard in mitigation that Rushton attempted to resign his post but was sacked by the force, with whom he served for 10 years, on Monday under a fast-tracking procedure.

Judge Creed said Rushton had come across his victims “at a stage when people were in vulnerable periods of their lives”.

He added: “There was distress caused to those victims, some of them, self-evident during their evidence”.

Judge Creed said it was concerning to hear colleagues had tried to warn Rushton over his behaviour, and that on one occasion “you did not tell the truth to senior officers seeking to help you”.

The offending spanned four years, from 2008 to 2012, and involved five women in all.

Judge Creed said the most serious incident involved a very vulnerable victim whom he visited in uniform at her home.

Rushton made up the reason for the visit, accusing her over a “bogus cyber bullying issue”, and convinced her to show him her private parts under the auspices of his fake investigation.

Judge Creed said: “Plainly that must have been humiliating, but the incident didn’t emerge until two years later when she was seen by officers in connection with another matter and referred, in passing, to that.

“As a result, this whole inquiry was commenced. It is a troubling episode as far as she is concerned.

“She was plainly vulnerable – indeed she said she did not think she would be believed because of her history.”

In relation to the other counts, Rushton met what the judge described as another “vulnerable young lady” through a police incident, befriending her and eventually entering into a relationship.

He was convicted of conducting a social visit to her home.

Another woman he met through an internet dating site and he was found guilty of receiving oral sex from her during a work-time break.

He was also convicted of going to her home, while in uniform, with the intention of having some sexual contact.

The judge said: “She believed you wanted to have sex, but in any event it didn’t take place as she found you smelled of garlic.”

There was another encounter with a fourth woman while on duty and in uniform, whereRushton received oral sex, later texting her saying “You’re ace”.

Judge Creed said: “The texts were graphic. Those details were studied and plainly, at the time, you were on duty.

He added: “There were calls to your unit, while you were engaged in the activity or shortly thereafter.”

“Prior to that there were two calls which had been ignored from control.”

He was also convicted of looking up a fifth victim’s details on the police computer system.

During the trial, Rushton was acquitted of five other counts of misconduct in a public office and a single charge of breaching the Data Protection Act.

The former neighbourhood police officer, wearing a grey suit, made no reaction as he was sentenced and seemed prepared for the possibility of custody by bringing a holdall of belongings with him.

Kevin Baumber, in mitigation, described Rushton as “a hard-working conscientious police officer, achieving results, involved in charity work, and a doting father and husband, still in the long process of rehabilitation but someone who has the support of his family”.

He added: “The impact, sadly, will fall most brutally upon his wife and his children and that is something he will have to live with and continue to make amends for.”

Afterwards, Deputy Chief Constable Nick Baker, of Staffordshire Police, welcomed the sentence, saying Rushton had “brought shame” on himself and the force.

“I have apologised personally to those victims of his actions on behalf of Staffordshire Police,” he said.

“I would also like to thank those individuals who supported the investigation and gave evidence during the recent trial; their bravery should not be underestimated.

“Adam Rushton brought shame on himself, his colleagues and Staffordshire Police.

“There is simply no excuse for Rushton’s actions and we will not tolerate such disgraceful behaviour in this organisation.

“The public must be able to trust their police officers, and on this occasion they were badly let down. He has been dismissed from the force.

“I want to reassure the public of Staffordshire lessons have been learned from this matter and we will take robust action against any officer or member of staff whose behaviour falls below the high standards expected.

“We are proud that the overwhelming majority of officers and staff members work hard and with integrity to serve the people of Staffordshire.”

Policeman faces misconduct sentence

PC Adam Rushton
PC Adam Rushton

A police officer from Newcastle-under-Lyme who had sex with vulnerable women he met while on duty will be sentenced by a Crown Court judge today.

Pc Adam Rushton was branded “a disgrace to the police service” last month after being convicted of five misconduct charges.

The 37-year-old was also found guilty of breaching data protection laws while based in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent.

During a three-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court, Rushton was accused of engaging in sexual activity with four different women while on duty.

The officer, who admitted being unprofessional but denied acting unlawfully, was found guilty of five counts of misconduct in a public office and a charge of illegally obtaining personal data.

But jurors cleared Rushton of five other misconduct allegations and a second offence under the Data Protection Act. Rushton, who is on bail, will be sentenced at the same court by Judge Murray Creed.

Sex pest cop told he faces jail

PC Darren Heath
PC Darren Heath

A police officer has been told to expect a prison sentence after admitting sexual relationships with three women he met while on duty.

Pc Darren Heath, 45, who is suspended from all duties at Gloucestershire Police, pleaded guilty to five counts of misconduct in a public office.

Bristol Crown Court heard he bedded one woman just minutes after informing a family that their loved one had been killed in a car crash.

Heath, of Taynton, Gloucester, always wore his police uniform while visiting his “vulnerable” victims and turned off his radio during intercourse.

Three of the misconduct charges relate to sexual relationships Heath had with three women between July 2002 and December 2013.

The police constable also admitted misconduct by pulling down his uniform trousers and exposing himself to one victim.

He pleaded guilty to “continually attending” the home of a woman under the guise of investigating an allegation her partner was harassing her.

The mother-of-two was horrified when Heath replied “but you had good sex with him, didn’t you?” after she told him about her partner’s violence.

Prosecuting, Sarah Regan said Heath had been warned about his behaviour a year after joining Gloucestershire Police in 1996 following a complaint by a student.

“He asked her personal questions and then asked whether she fancied a bit of fun before she left for university,” Ms Regan said.

“From his body language and tone she believed he was suggesting that they had sex.

“She subsequently made a complaint which was dealt with by Pc Heath being given advice.

“It is obvious that he ignored that advice and the second chance he was given.”

Ms Regan said Heath met his first victim in July 2002 after she was arrested for a drink driving offence.

A sexual relationship began and continued until after she had attended court and was disqualified from driving for two years.

Six years later, Heath was sat in his police car when his next victim approached to report that a man was unconscious in the street.

He asked for her number and attended her home four days later, when he stripped from his uniform and asked “are we going to bed then?”.

Heath visited his victim up to four times a week while working, with phone records showing that he called her at the site of a fatal car crash.

“Having been to deliver the news to the family of the deceased, he went to her home,” Ms Regan said.

“He had the paperwork from the incident with him and they had sex before he returned to work.”

The victim later became pregnant with twins but Heath convinced her to have a termination, revealing he had two children of his own.

His next victim called police after her ex-partner began stalking her and attacked her teenage daughter.

Heath visited her dozens of times but refused to attend her ex-partner’s house, telling her “the police work in strange ways”.

“He told her she had a nice top on and asked if she liked to dance,” Ms Regan said.

After the woman explained the violence she had suffered at the hands of her ex-partner, Heath replied: “but you had good sex with him, didn’t you?”.

The woman refused to open the door to Heath after he sent her a text message reading “It wasn’t coffee I wanted, it is your body”.

In September 2012, Heath met a woman after arranging a restorative justice programme for her son and began visiting her regularly.

On one occasion, he dropped his trousers and exposed himself to the woman. She refused but had sex with him during another visit.

“He had his uniform on and turned his radio off when they had sex,” Ms Regan said.

In January 2013, the woman ended the relationship after realising Heath was “only interested in a sexual relationship”, the court heard.

He was arrested last year and suspended on full pay after one of his victims complained to police.

In interview, he denied wrongdoing but later admitted five counts of misconduct in a public office.

“The behaviour and actions of Pc Heath have caused great damage to the good name of Gloucestershire Constabulary,” Ms Regan said.

Representing Heath, Ed Burgess said his client was remorseful and had caused pain to his partner of five-years and two children.

“He stands in the dock situation of shame and ignominy and he has only himself to blame for that,” Mr Burgess said.

“His reputation is in tatters, his career is over and his life is in pieces.”

Judge Neil Ford QC, the Recorder of Bristol, adjourned sentencing until Monday, telling Heath he faced “an inevitable custodial sentence”.

Heath’s victims, all of whom attended court, wept and clapped as he was led to the cells.


Sex on duty Cop on trial

PC Adam Rushton
PC Adam Rushton

A policeman from Newcastle-under-Lyme engaged in sexual activity with four different women while on duty and “groomed” a domestic violence victim for sex at a hotel, a court has heard.
A jury was told that Pc Adam Rushton even used the “subterfuge” of a fictional crime to trick a woman who had reported a domestic incident into exposing herself.
On another occasion, Birmingham Crown Court heard, the officer checked that the coast was clear before taking a lover into a police station, where she handcuffed him in an office.
Rushton, who was based at Longton police station in Stoke-on-Trent, denies 10 counts of misconduct in a public office and two offences under data protection laws.
The 37-year-old is alleged to have committed the offences between June 2006 and October 2012.
opening the case at the start of what is expected to be a seven-day trial, prosecutor Duncan Bould said the allegations all related to Rushton’s sex life.
Mr Bould told the court: “We say that over the years his activities as a police constable have brought him regularly into contact with vulnerable and frightened females, often in extreme circumstances, who he has met during the course of his duties.
“We say he sought to take advantage of those situations to have sexual activity of some kind with them.”
Describing Rushton’s alleged conduct towards a total of seven women as a serious breach of trust, Mr Bould took jurors through the details of each of the 12 charges.
The Crown claims Rushton, who joined the police service in 2003, paid social visits to some of the women while on duty and gave one of them cash in return for oral sex.
The jury of 10 men and two women was told that Rushton developed a friendship with one of the women, who was 21, in 2006 and went on to have sex at her home while on duty.
Another woman, who was 17 when she met Rushton, allegedly kissed him in a police car and engaged in sexual activity after being taken to Longton police station.
“He picked her up in a marked police car,” Mr Bould told the jury. “When they got to the police station, she had to wait in the car, presumably whilst he made sure the coast was clear.
“He took her into the police station and they went into an office.
“Once inside, the door was locked, he spun her round and began to kiss her, and then she put his own handcuffs on him.
“Clearly sexual activity was taking place that was intended to go further but for the fact that somebody disturbed them.
“They had been there for probably 30 to 40 minutes. He told her afterwards that she shouldn’t say anything about what they had done because he could lose his job.”
Jurors were also told that Rushton was alleged to have called at the home of another member of the public while on duty and told her that he needed to identify the sender of an abusive message from a tattoo on her thigh.
Rushton is then alleged to have threatened to handcuff the woman, who had reported a domestic incident, before she lowered her clothing for him to examine her.
In 2012, the court heard, other police officers spotted Rushton visiting a hotel where a victim of domestic violence was staying.
Rushton is alleged to have had sex with the woman, who the prosecution claim was “groomed” while he was on duty and later sent a series of text messages.
Concluding his opening remarks, Mr Bould stressed that none of the women had made complaints to the police about Rushton.
After the officer’s arrest in April 2013, he was interviewed about the misconduct allegations.
“In essence, apart from (an incident with one of the women) he denied the allegations that were put to him,” Mr Bould said.
“He said he had not had sexual relations with people he had met through work and that he had not conducted sexual relations on duty at all.”
The trial continues.

Met Cop disciplined over Facebook joke about Rolf Harris


A police officer has been disciplined after he posted a “joke” on Facebook about sexual assaults by Rolf Harris.
The Metropolitan Police constable was handed a final written warning about his internet activity by bosses last year.
A Freedom of Information response from the force said the officer “posted a joke about sexual assaults on minors by Rolf Harris”.
Harris was jailed for nearly six years for a string of indecent assaults after he was investigated under Operation Yewtree, which was set up by the Met Police.
The Pc also “openly criticised” the force and posted a status about police community support officers which “attracted a number of negative comments from friends”.
Scotland Yard confirmed that a misconduct hearing took place in December in which a Pc faced allegations related to the posting of inappropriate comments on social media.
The panel found an allegation of “discreditable conduct” was proved. The officer, who has not been identified, remains in his post.
It was one of a number of cases of alleged misuse of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter by civilian staff and officers at the Metropolitan Police – the UK’s largest force – revealed in the FOI response.

Other disclosures include:
:: A Pc was dismissed after posing on a website in full uniform “indecently exposing himself”;
:: An officer allegedly posted photos of himself with a long-barrelled rifle;
:: A community support officer was dismissed for excessive use of Facebook while on duty, logging on to the site for 23 hours over two months;
:: A member of police staff was dismissed following allegations that they took a picture, which was later posted on Twitter, of a car which had been seized;
:: A member of police staff was dismissed for making inappropriate comments regarding colleagues;
:: An officer was given a first written warning after she used “inappropriate language” by saying she had poured beer over a member of public;
:: A member of police staff was dismissed after making “inappropriate comments” regarding work colleagues.
In total Scotland Yard recorded 33 allegations against officers or staff regarding activity on social networking sites which resulted in misconduct meetings or hearings between January 2012 and December 2014.
More than half resulted in written warnings but five led to dismissals.
Steven George-Hilley, director of the think-tank Parliament Street, which carried out the research, said: “Police staff should be using social media in the fight against crime, not to indulge in salacious online activity.
“Bad behaviour from bobbies on sites like Twitter and Facebook can damage public trust and must be tackled with robust punishment to ensure high standards of integrity at all times.”
Last year an investigation by the Press Association revealed that hundreds of police employees have been investigated for breaching social media guidelines at forces across England and Wales over five years.
Detective Chief Superintendent Alaric Bonthron, of the Met’s directorate of professional standards, said: “The MPS treats any allegation about the conduct of its staff extremely seriously and will always take steps to determine whether the conduct of that member of staff has breached the required standards of professional behaviour.
“We investigate a variety of allegations of misconduct relating to officers and staff. These range from inappropriate comments on social media to more serious cases of corruption.
“Each is dealt with according to the circumstances.”

Prison officers arrested in cash for stories case


Two former prison officers have been arrested in Suffolk in connection with Scotland Yard’s inquiry into alleged inappropriate payments to police and public officials.

The 47-year old man and 44-year-old woman were arrested by Operation Elveden officers on Wednesday morning.

They were arrested for alleged misconduct in a public office and conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office and are in custody at a police station in Suffolk.

There have now been 89 arrests under Operation Elveden which is looking at allegations of inappropriate payments.

It is being supervised by the Independent Police Complaints Commission and is running alongside Operation Weeting, the Metropolitan Police’s phone-hacking inquiry.

Cops in court over vigilante murder

Left: Victim Bijan Ebrahim and Right: Lee James who murdered him (r), and Stephen Norley (l) who assisted James
Left: Victim Bijan Ebrahim and Right: Lee James who murdered him (r), and Stephen Norley (l) who assisted James

Three police constables and a community support officer have appeared in court charged over the treatment of a disabled man murdered by a vigilante in Bristol.

Bijan Ebrahimi, 44, was beaten to death and his body set on fire by neighbour Lee James, who wrongly believed he was a paedophile, in Bristol on July 14 2013.

James, of Capgrave Crescent, Brislington, was later jailed for life for the murder, while Stephen Norley, who lived next door, was jailed for four years for assisting an offender.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission submitted a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service in October 2014 into how officers responded to events and contact from Mr Ebrahimi.

Police constables Kevin Duffy, 51, Helen Harris, 40 and Leanne Winter, 37, all of Avon and Somerset Police, were charged with wilful misconduct in a public office.

Police community support officer Andrew Passmore, 55, was charged with wilful misconduct in a public office and intending to pervert the course of justice.

All four defendants appeared in front of Judge Neil Ford QC, the Recorder of Bristol, for a preliminary hearing at Bristol Crown Court today.

They did not enter any charges or speak during the short hearing and the case was adjourned after a trial, expected to last up to six weeks, was scheduled for November 9.

The judge told the defendants: “The case will now be adjourned and you will be released on unconditional bail.

“That simply means you must attend court when you are next required to do so, that is the plea and case management hearing on May 29.”

The defendants’ addresses were withheld from the court following representations from their barristers at a previous hearing.

The judge acknowledged that the death of Mr Ebrahimi had attracted a “national profile” and he could see no difficulty with a trial being held in Bristol.

A post-mortem examination found Mr Ebrahimi, an Iranian national, suffered “multiple heavy blows to the face and head” and died before he was set alight.

James and Norley were jailed at Bristol Crown Court in November last year after entering guilty pleas to murder and assisting an offender respectively.

The court heard Mr Ebrahimi was murdered three days after he had been arrested by police, following complaints he had been taking pictures of children outside his home.

During the fatal attack, father-of-four James, who believed his victim had been filming his children, repeatedly stamped on Mr Ebrahimi’s head, telling him “have some of that”.

Father-of-two Norley, who worked for a fruit and vegetable wholesaler, helped James drag Mr Ebrahimi’s body from the scene of the attack and obtained white spirit to burn it.

Mr Ebrahimi’s sister Manizhah Moores, who attended proceedings today, previously said her brother suffered racial abuse while living in Bristol.

“We hope that nobody else ever has to witness an innocent disabled man being abused, taunted and tortured in the way that Bijan suffered,” Mrs Moores said.

Duffy, Passmore, Harris and Winter did not comment before or after the hearing

Disgraced top cop pays back £23,000


Cleveland Police which was suing its former chief constable for £500,000 has settled out of court for less than 5% of the figure, it has emerged.

The force was trying to claw back salary and bonuses it believed Sean Price was wrongly paid across a number of years before he was sacked for gross misconduct in 2012.

The civil case was due to be heard next month but police and crime commissioner (PCC) Barry Coppinger said Mr Price’s offer of £23,000 had been accepted.

That was due to mounting legal costs during a time of budget pressures and having consideration for Mr Price’s ability to pay more.

In a document on the PCC’s website, Mr Coppinger said the case against Mr Price was based on the legal argument that the payments were originally made “by mistake of law”.

He accepted the £23,000 offer was a “modest proportion” of what had been hoped for, but it was made in good faith, with reference to his ability to pay.

Mr Price, a father of two, has allowed the force to see financial documents, the PCC said.

Mr Coppinger said: “I concluded that I faced a choice either to accept the sum which Mr Price had demonstrated he could afford or proceed to court, risking an estimated overall six-figure sum in court costs which was unlikely to be realistically recoverable.”

He said the force had already spent about £30,000 on external barristers’ fees – £7,000 more than Mr Price’s settlement.

He added that other PCCs and forces had considered similar civil claims before deciding not to proceed.

Mr Coppinger said the payments Mr Price received were investigated under the wide-ranging Operation Sacristy inquiry into alleged corruption, but did not result in criminal charges.

He said: “Although ending the claim will mean that the court will not have the opportunity to address the legal questions, taking all of the considerations in the round I have determined that it would be appropriate to conclude the matter on the basis of the payment of the sum offered.”

Mr Price said in a statement: “This was a difficult decision for me as I had a strong case that the payments were lawful and should not be repaid 10 years later.

“However, the case has cost me several thousand pounds already and the public a great deal more. The only people benefiting have been lawyers.

“I made the decision that the best course of action was to settle now to prevent the costs escalating further.

“Notwithstanding our differences, I would like to pass my best to all at Cleveland Police in dealing with the financial challenges facing the force in the future.”

Mr Price was the first chief constable in 35 years to be sacked. An inquiry found he lied about his role in the recruitment of the former police authority chairman’s daughter.

Corrupt Prison Officer Earned 40K From Stories


A News of the World reporter is facing jail after becoming the first journalist to be found guilty of paying a corrupt official for stories in the wake of Operation Elveden, the high-profile police investigation into newspapers – and it can only now be reported that a corrupt prison officer was also convicted earlier in the week.

The case revolved around the activities of prison officer Scott Chapman, 42, who made £40,000 from selling tips to various newspapers about James Bulger killer Jon Venables after he was sent back to prison in 2010 for child porn offences.

The NotW journalist, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was convicted on Wednesday of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office in relation to two stories following the trial at the Old Bailey.

Chapman and his ex-partner Lynn Gaffney, 40, were also convicted of misconduct in a public office, it can now be reported.

But co-defendant Daily Star Sunday reporter Tom Savage, who only knew Chapman as the anonymous source Adam, was cleared of wrong-doing.

In a courtroom packed with journalists and supporters, there were cheers and shouts of “yes” as Savage, 37, was found not guilty, followed by stunned silence as the jury foreman read out the verdict on the second reporter.

Chapman and the NotW reporter were given conditional bail until they are sentenced by judge Charles Wide on a date to be fixed.

The judge warned Chapman that he should expect his jail term to be counted in years, rather than months.

He told the NotW reporter he was conscious that the conviction was on the basis of just two of the stories that Chapman sold but he warned the journalist to be “under no illusions”.

To date, despite the conviction of public officers, the NotW journalist is the first to be found guilty of paying corrupt officials since police launched its multimillion-pound investigation into newspapers in 2011.

During the trial, the court heard that Chapman first contacted the Sun in 2010 after Venables was sent back to jail.

He went on to sell stories to a host of other newspapers including the NotW and the Daily Star Sunday, using Gaffney’s bank account to channel payments in exchange for a third cut of his earnings.

The tabloids then published a string of articles about Venables’ life behind bars which ranged from his efforts to lose weight to his love of Harry Potter books.

A security chief from the prison where he worked told the court that Chapman’s leaks had a “catastrophic” effect on the operation of the prison and left Venables feeling “very suspicious” of staff charged with his care.

But under cross-examination, it emerged that she had formed that view from secret talks with Venables in her search for the source.

The fact that she did not file a report on any of the meetings was a “serious breach of duty”, according to the defence.

In his evidence, Chapman said he first contacted the Sun about Venables because he was unhappy about the way he was given special treatment and then turned to other newspapers in an attempt to stop his Sun contact “pestering” him.

He told jurors he would send images of his prison ID card and a wage slip as confirmation to journalists, although there was no evidence he sent it to Savage.

But prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC queried the public interest of stories he described as “drivel” and “tittle tattle”, and asked Chapman: “Is it important that Jon Venables likes Harry Potter?”

In turn, Savage denied knowing the identity of his source, saying he used Chapman’s knowledge of Venables’ new name as a codeword to check his credibility.

He told the court it never occurred to him that he was in fact a serving prison officer but, if he had known, it would not have mattered “in the slightest”.

The NotW journalist also denied knowing who Chapman was or receiving images of his ID card and wage slip, despite an email to a NotW boss which suggested the opposite.

The defendant went on to insist that it was in the public interest that the newspaper exposed Venables’ “comfortable” lifestyle behind bars.

The journalist said: “This was a public interest story we were writing about Jon Venables, who abducted a two-year-old from a shopping centre, tortured and murdered him.

“He had been taken in by the Prison Service, given millions of pounds for a new identity, then repeat-offended and the Prison Service deal with it by making his life as comfortable as possible.”

Chapman, 42, and Gaffney, 40, of Corby, Northamptonshire, denied misconduct in a public office. Savage, 37, from south London, and the NotW reporter denied conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office.

For legal reasons, the convictions on Tuesday could not be reported until today.


Cop faces multiple sexual misconduct charges

PC Adam Rushton
PC Adam Rushton

A Staffordshire Police officer is set to face trial over multiple sex-related misconduct charges after denying the offences in court.

Adam Rushton is facing 10 counts of misconduct in a public office and two charges of obtaining the personal data of two women without proper permission while on duty as a serving constable with the force.

Rushton, 37, sat composed in the dock throughout the brief hearing at Birmingham Crown Court, wearing a suit, striped tie and black-rimmed glasses.

He entered not guilty pleas to each charge on the indictment as they were put to him.

The offences are all alleged to have happened between June 2006 and October 2012, and they relate to seven different women.

He is facing six allegations that he had sex with women while he was supposed to be working, and a further two accusations that he carried out social visits to women with whom he was having a relationship, also while on duty.

Rushton, of Hilltop Avenue, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, is also accused of grooming a vulnerable woman for sexual contact, and further charged with going to another woman’s address with the intention of having sex, both while at work.

The charges follow an investigation by Staffordshire Police and the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

Judge Roderick Henderson told him his trial was set to take place next March, and bailed him to that date.

Addressing the defendant, he said: “Your trial will probably take place on March 16 2015.

“Whatever the date of your trial, it will be your job to stay in touch with your lawyers and ensure you turn up in good time.”

The judge made an order in court banning the identification of the women named in the indictment.