A rapist ex-policeman will be sentenced today for a string of serious sex crimes.
Wayne Scott’s offending came to light after he was dismissed by Cleveland Police when a member of the public complained about him touching her sexually while he was on duty.
Although he was not prosecuted for that offence, the publicity led other women to come forward and make complaints.
Following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court the disgraced PC was last month convicted of rape and attempted rape. He had already admitted seven counts of rape on another woman.
In addition, he confessed to two common assaults, one sexual assault and two counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual touching.
And senior officers believed there could be more victims who have yet to come forward, with one estimate being that he preyed on 11 women.
Scott, formerly of Stockton, Teesside, has made two attempts on his life after his arrest.
The 37-year-old jumped from a prison balcony and on another occasion leapt from a moving vehicle while on his way to a medical examination.
After the five-day trial, Detective Superintendent Peter McPhillips, of Cleveland Police, said: ”Wayne Scott is a sexual predator who has been a disgrace to the office of constable, and deserves to be behind bars.
“Scott was arrested in August 2011 following on-duty allegations, and subsequently suspended and dismissed.
“Our objective since has been to discover whether his behaviour was more widespread and to protect the public from him. That objective has now been achieved.
“The offences for which Scott has been convicted of today occurred off duty but as a police officer he knew better than most the severity of his crimes.
”He was a disgrace to his uniform and there can be no place for people like him in the police service.”
Judge James Goss, the Recorder of Newcastle, remanded him in custody at the last hearing to allow for reports to be prepared ahead of sentencing.
A former police officer who accepted a bribe to plant a shotgun in a bid to frame a man has been jailed for four years, police said.
Daniel Withnell, 31, was approached by Claire Smethurst to put the weapon in the man’s car for £19,000 between September 30 and October 30 last year.
He admitted two counts of misconduct in a public office and perverting the course of justice at an earlier hearing and was today jailed at Manchester Crown Court.
Withnell, of Cranark Close in Bolton, also sent a fake tip-off by text to an officer on March 16, in which he claimed a hitman had been offered money to kill him.
He also used his position to access the force’s database to research a money laundering investigation, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said.
Smethurst, 48, of Westhoughton, Bolton, was found guilty of of perverting the course and was given a 15 month suspended sentence for her role in the plot at the same court on October 9, the force added.
Assistant Chief Constable Dawn Copley said: “The conduct of former DC Daniel Withnell fell well short of what is expected of a police officer.
“Police officers, staff and the communities of Greater Manchester would be appalled by his actions, which detract from the hard work that our officers and staff do on a daily basis.
“GMP expects the very highest standards of all its officers and staff. They should be honest and act with integrity and should not compromise or abuse their position.
“As soon as this conduct came to light, the Professional Standards Branch carried out a thorough investigation, supervised by the IPCC and as a result Mr Withnell has been convicted of two counts of misconduct in public office and perverting the course of justice and Ms Smethurst has been convicted of perverting the course of justice.”
Mark Leech, editor of Converse the national newspaper for prisoners in England and Wales said Withnell faced a dangerous time in jail.
“Going to jail as a former cop is dangerous at any time, but going to jail as a former cop jailed for trying to fit up an innocent man and send him to jail marks Withnell out as a man with a price on his head.
“Withnell is the worst kind of corrupt cop, a loathsome individual who was willing to sacrifice the freedom of an innocent man in exchange for cash – a despicable low life whose past criminal arrests and convictions should now be the subject of review lest he has done this before – and got away with it.”
A PCSO is suing a police force for discrimination after she failed to notify them of a conviction for theft when she applied to become a police constable.
Rachida Sobhi has launched legal action against the Metropolitan Police – reportedly claiming she did not reveal her criminal record due to amnesia.
Ms Sobhi had her case dismissed by an employment tribunal but has won the right to a new hearing after a senior judge ruled she was disabled when she filled in the application form, it was reported.
It is understood she was convicted of an offence of theft from a previous employer in 1991, for which she received a conditional discharge.
But she is said to have claimed that when she applied to become a police constable, she had forgotten about the event as a result of trauma she had experienced.
A Met Police spokesman said: “We believe the first hearing outcome was the correct one and we will vigorously defend our position at future hearings.”
The issue of police workers claiming compensation was brought to light earlier this year when it emerged that a police constable was suing a petrol station owner after she tripped on a kerb while answering a 999 call.
Pc Kelly Jones, of Norfolk Police, claimed Steve Jones, the owner of Nuns’ Bridges Filling Station in Thetford, failed to ensure she was ”reasonably safe” when she attended a suspected break-in last August
The Police Federation of England and Wales, which represents 124,000 rank-and-file officers, is funding Pc Jones’s legal costs in her case against Mr Jones.
A total of £67.1 million has been paid out to injured officers in settlements in the four years from 2009 to 2012, figures from the federation showed.
It also emerged in April that Surrey Pc Richard Seymour instructed lawyers to claim against Maidenhead Aquatics owner Stuart Lambley because he fell down the drain on a call out to a reported burglary at the premises in March last year.
Surrey Chief Constable Lynne Owens distanced the force from the claim, stressing it was a private matter.
Earlier this month it was reported that a Nottinghamshire Police officer was awarded £16,610 compensation after falling over a pile of blankets while chasing a criminal.
One member of staff at the force was also said to have been awarded £18,400 after they injured their back falling off a chair, while another got £8,130 after falling over photocopying paper.
And in another bizarre case, a West Midlands Police officer was reportedly paid £8,000 compensation after being bitten by fleas while at work.
A policeman jailed for theft has been formally dismissed from the force.
Pc Ian Scouler, 46, – above- was found guilty of theft at London’s Southwark Crown Court on November 7 and sentenced to 12 months imprisonment.
He was formally dismissed yesterday, the Metropolitan Police Service said in a statement.
Separately, Pc Kenneth Potter, 30, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to one count of theft and one count of handling stolen goods.
He received a five-month sentence for both counts, to run concurrently.
Potter put in a formal request to resign in June, which was accepted.
The pair were based in the disruption unit at Plumstead police station, in south London.
In 2010 and 2011, police received several complaints from the public regarding theft of money and property in cases handled by the unit, where addresses were searched or members of the public were stopped and searched on the street.
The Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) anti-corruption team launched an investigation, which was managed by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
Officers from the DPS carried out a covert operation and gathered evidence against the two officers.
They were both arrested on October 12 last year and suspended from duty.
They were subsequently charged on January 26 this year.
Commander Allan Gibson, of the DPS, said: “Where we have intelligence that officers may be breaking the law, we will be proactive and run covert operations to identify corruption.
“Both these men are now out of the police service and sitting in prison, having been found guilty of theft. The prosecution case was based on evidence gathered by the Directorate of Professional Standards.
“There is no place for criminals in the Met and the Directorate of Professional Standards will put anyone who thinks they are above the law before the courts.”
A police officer whose “irresponsible driving” left a colleague with severe brain damage has admitted careless driving.
Pc Ian Thompson was driving a marked police car at 75mph in a 40mph zone when he jumped a red light, crashing into a taxi which was crossing a dual carriageway in Basildon.
Reece Clarke, a special constable who was travelling in the passenger seat, suffered “devastating” injuries, Ipswich Crown Court heard. The taxi driver was also seriously injured.
Prosecutor Michael Crimp said: “A reasonable and prudent driver would not approach that junction at 75mph – he gave himself no opportunity to cope with any hazards.”
Thompson was responding to an emergency shortly before midnight on July 24 last year.
He claimed he feared another officer’s life was “potentially in danger”, but the court heard he might have exaggerated the seriousness of the emergency.
The 31-year-old officer, based in Wickford, Essex, had been charged with dangerous driving. He denied that offence but today admitted the lesser charge of careless driving.
Mr Crimp said that, after consultation with Mr Clarke’s family, this plea was acceptable and a trial on the original charge would not proceed.
Mr Clarke, from Shoebury, was based in Billericay and Wickford and was 19 at the time. He has required intensive rehabilitation since the incident.
Mr Crimp said: “The awful consequences of (Thompson) driving as he did are shown graphically in photographs of the aftermath.”
He added the prosecution did not “necessarily accept” that the driving had not been dangerous, but he said it was not in the public interest for the trial to proceed.
He said: “We have given due regard to the views of the taxi driver who was badly injured and to the family of the passenger who was very seriously injured.”
Allan Compton, mitigating, said Thompson had been responding to a genuine and unusual emergency involving a prisoner at Basildon police station.
The station was “lightly manned” at that time of night but was holding a large number of people in its cells.
“It was a type of emergency he had never before experienced in his career,” Mr Compton said.
He added that the phasing of the lights may not have normal safety margins built in.
“He regularly visits Reece Clarke and that is something Reece gets some comfort from,” he said. “He will continue to do whatever he can to help the Clarke family.”
Judge David Goodin ordered Thompson to pay a fine of £250 and said three penalty points would be added to his driving licence.
He must also pay £85 in legal costs and a £15 victim surcharge.
The judge said the prosecution had taken into account many factors including the “generosity” of Wendy Clarke, speaking on behalf of her son, in reaching its decision to not proceed with the charge of dangerous driving.
He added that he could not take into account the “very serious” injuries suffered by the taxi driver and the “devastating” injuries of Mr Clarke when passing sentence.
But he said Thompson’s behaviour had been “irresponsible and wrong”.
“You were going to a police station where, by definition, there were a number of police officers and custody staff who could deal with the emergency,” he added.
“You drove very fast indeed. There is no question of the red mist descending – you were responding in what you believed to be a proportionate way but it wasn’t.
“You drove at excessive speed in a town centre on a very, very busy intersection.”
Thompson, who was placed on restricted duties after the crash, will now face disciplinary proceedings.
Rachel Cerfontyne, commissioner at the Independent Police Complaints Commission, said: “Police officers are permitted to exceed the speed limit if deemed appropriate when responding to an emergency.
“On that night Pc Thompson reacted to a call for help to deal with a prisoner at Basildon Police Station. However, he failed to carry out a risk assessment as he approached the traffic lights.
“Sadly his driving fell far short of the standard to which he was trained and the consequences have been tragic for a young man and his family.”
Too many police officers and staff have taken sexual advantage of members of the public they were supposed to be helping, a watchdog said today.
More than 50 cases over the last two years showed corrupt behaviour by officers which was considered to be sexual exploitation or assault, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said.
It called for more vetting of officers in specific situations, such as those dealing with vulnerable people, and for a code of conduct to set out the behaviour expected of officers.
The report, Abuse of Police Powers to Perpetrate Sexual Violence, found 54 cases of officers or staff trying to form sexual relationships with people they ought to have been helping between April 2009 and March last year in England and Wales.
It went on: “There is no evidence to suggest it is commonplace, but nor can we be confident that all such cases are reported.
“There are considerable inconsistencies in the referral of corruption cases in general to the IPCC by different police forces. It is therefore possible that the true figure is higher.”
Allegations about colleagues were excluded from the figure, as were complaints after a police search in custody.
“Nevertheless it is highly likely that there are connections and overlap between these kinds of abuse and further work will be required to explore this,” the IPCC added.
The report comes after a rogue officer was jailed for life for raping and sexually assaulting vulnerable women.
Stephen Mitchell was ordered to serve two life sentences and warned he might never be freed from prison by a judge at Newcastle Crown Court in January last year.
Trial judge Mr Justice Wilkie said the Northumbria Police constable was a “ruthless sexual predator” who was a danger to women.
Mitchell, formerly of Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, preyed on women he met while on duty from his base at Pilgrim Street police station in Newcastle.
The pervert, originally from Glasgow, raped and sexually abused heroin addicts, shoplifters and a disabled teenager by offering them help while in custody, then demanding sexual favours afterwards.
He told one of his victims that if she complained, “no one would believe a junkie”.
The cases studied by the watchdog also included one of a police officer who was accused of rape by a woman with mental health problems who had called for help because she felt suicidal.
The officer initially provided “no comment” answers to questions, but after DNA evidence was recovered he admitted there had been a sexual act, but said it was consensual. He later quit the force.
Another officer was sacked after using the police national computer to carry out 176 unauthorised checks on women over three years, the report showed.
Dame Anne Owers, IPCC chairwoman, said: “The abuse of police powers for purposes of sexual exploitation, or even violence, is something that fundamentally betrays the trust that communities and individuals place in the police.
“It therefore has a serious impact on the public’s confidence in individual officers and the service in general.”
The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) added the police service needed to deal with corruption swiftly to keep the public’s trust.
Chief Constable Mike Cunningham, the Acpo lead on professional standards, said: “For this very reason Acpo, working jointly with the IPCC, sought to learn lessons once this particular type of corruption was identified.
“One thing remains clear – all our relationships must meet the highest standards of integrity.
“This duty falls not only to officers and staff themselves in adhering to behaviour afforded to working in a position of trust, but to colleagues and supervisors in raising and addressing any concerning behaviour.
“Any officer, regardless of rank, that brings the service into disrepute does huge damage to the 140,000 officers that go out every day to deliver a police service with commitment and integrity.”
Javed Khan, chief executive of Victim Support, said: “This is absolutely appalling.
“Victims of crime turn to the police for protection and help when they are already in a vulnerable position.
“The police’s treatment of victims is crucial in helping them recover from the crime and help bring offenders to justice.
“It is unacceptable that some police officers would take advantage of their position to re-victimise a person.
“We commend the IPCC for having the honesty and vision to address these cases and make recommendations which we hope will translate into a strong commitment to eliminate predatory behaviour in every police force.”