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Wrexham PCSO on trial over indecent assault claim

Published date: 08 July 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A POLICE Community Support Officer went to a woman’s home while on duty and fondled her breast, it was alleged in court.

It was claimed he said he wanted to search the woman for drugs.

While he did so, he removed one of her breasts from her bra and played with her nipple which he held between his finger and thumb, it was claimed.

Keith Jones, of Gredington Close, Wrexham, denies indecently assaulting the woman in October 2012.

Prosecuting barrister Jayne La Grua told a jury at Mold Crown Court yesterday the complainant was a woman in her late 50s, a vulnerable adult with health and drugs problems who lived alone in a flat.

“In a nutshell, he told her he needed to search her. He lifted her jumper and fondled her breast,” she alleged.

The jury was told at about 6pm on October 3 she answered a knock on the door and Jones, 58, was there.

She invited him in because he was dressed as a police officer and assumed he had visited her as she was classed as a vulnerable adult.

The prosecutor told the jury: “She thought she could trust him as a police community support officer (PCSO).”

During a conversation, she said he asked her if she had any drugs on her and she sarcastically replied “yes thanks”.

He said he would have to search her and asked her to stand with her arms outstretched.

It was alleged he patted her shoulders, arms, sides and waist before pulling her jumper up.

“He took one of her breasts from the cup of the bra and held her nipple between his finger and thumb and fondled it.

“In her own words he tweaked it,” the prosecutor claimed.

She pulled away and said he had better go.

He did but as he left gave her his card and said she should contact him if he could help her in the future, it was claimed.

In her evidence, the complainant said: “He pulled my jumper up and took my boob out.”

She was nervous and on edge.

He had been looking at her breasts, staring at them, not looking at her face, she alleged.

The complainant said she did not know him, and made a note of the date.

The matter was reported about a month later when she called North Wales Police about another matter but asked them not to send the defendant around.

She later told two female officers what had happened.

Interviewed, Jones agreed he had called at her home after neighbours had expressed concern about her welfare.

But he had not been inside the flat, he said.

The conversation took place in the communal area outside the flat.

He denied searching her or touching her sexually in any way.

Cross-examined, the complainant denied she had confused the incident with a previous incident where police officers had attended her home and she had been arrested.

She agreed she had previously taken amphetamine and was currently taking methadone.

There had been previous incidents when she had been to hospital, saying she could hear voices.

“He left your flat without touching you at all didn’t he,” said Mr Nicolas Clarke, defending.

She denied that.

He asked her if what she said occurred had actually happened, suggesting it was part of her paranoid psychosis.

She denied that and also denied she had taken any amphetamine that day, but the barrister put it to her she had told the police that she had.

Mr Clarke suggested to her that the alleged offence was “a vision, caused by your use of amphetamine”, which she denied.

Interviewed, Jones denied any wrong doing.

“For a start I have no powers to search,” he said

“I would not even think about doing it.”

He claimed that she had said something like that he could search her any time but he had said no, it was alright.

While on patrol a neighbour had mentioned hearing her crying at night, he had gone up to see if she was alright and they spoke on the communal landing.

He had entered her flat for a couple of moments and put his card on the table.

But he had not searched her and had not used his blue police issue gloves as she had alleged.

They then spoke generally, with him on the stairs and her in the hall, and he left.

Asked if he thought he had done a good job, he said he had done his best.

He had been married 35 years, was not attracted to the complainant in any shape or form, and did not know where she was coming from.

The defence case started yesterday when Jones told how at the time he had worked as a PCSO for eight years and before that worked as a local authority handyman in Wrexham for two-and-a-half years.

He had previously worked as a telephone engineer for 23 years and left that job because of accusations of theft, but he had not been prosecuted and no evidence had been offered against him.

It was in 2004 that he became a PSCO and after a three week training course worked as “the eyes and ears of the community”, like the “old fashioned bobby”.

He said a PCSO’s powers were very limited – nine times out of 10 disputes could be sorted out by speaking to people but if problems arose they told one of the local bobbies.

The trial, before Judge Niclas Parry, is proceeding.

For more news from across the region visit newsnorthwales.co.uk

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