PC Darren Heath

PC Darren Heath

A police officer has been jailed for three years and nine months for having sexual relationships with three women 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 Heath 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 shocked 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.

Jailing an emotionless Heath, Judge Neil Ford QC, the Recorder of Bristol, said his behaviour was “corrosive” to his victims and force.

“On many occasions over a protracted period you deliberately flouted the principles and ethics of policing,” the judge said.

“Your actions have damaged the women you had or attempted to have sexual relationships with and have damaged the reputation of Gloucestershire Constabulary.

“You used your position as a serving police officer to obtain sexual gratification from women you met in the course of your duties.

“Your grossly inappropriate behaviour mainly took place when you were on duty. You betrayed your force and the women who relied upon you for your assistance.”

Gloucestershire Police first issued a warning to Heath concerning his behaviour to women in 1996 – a year after he joined – following a complaint from a student.

Heath attended the woman’s home and asked her personal questions, before offering her “a bit of fun before she left for university”, the court heard.

Prosecuting, Sarah Regan told the court: “It is obvious that he ignored that advice and the second chance he was given.”

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

A sexual relationship began and continued until she was disqualified from driving following an appearance at court.

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 became pregnant with twins but Heath convinced her to have a termination, threatening to commit suicide if she did not.

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”.

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.

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

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