Police with ‘Cynical Disdain’ for Victims Sabotaged Child Abuse Investigations, Court Hears

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 15: A Police Lantern glows at twilight outside Kennington Police Station on February 15, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Dan Kitwood/Getty
VICTORIA FRIEDMAN

Two Essex police detectives are accused of intentionally sabotaging a number of child sex abuse cases through a combination of “laziness” and “cynical disdain” for the alleged victims, London’s Old Bailey court has heard.

Detective Constables Sharon Patterson, 49, and Lee Pollard, 47, who were in a relationship, are accused of three counts each of misconduct in public office between 2011 and 2014, reports the Gazette and Essex County Standard.

The court heard allegations that Ms Patterson and Mr Pollard had misrepresented investigations, concealed evidence, and forged documents.

The allegations came about during performance reviews of the child abuse investigation team in which the couple worked, with assessors finding that the issues were “beyond incompetence” and could not be blamed on lack of staff, the prosecution said.

“The allegations against them involve the forging of documents, concealment of evidence and the misrepresentation of the state of investigations, and the evidence involved in investigations, to supervising officers,” prosecutor Alexandra Healy QC said.

“The effect was that allegations involving child sex offences were not properly investigated.

“The motivation appears to have been a combination of laziness, self-preservation and sometimes a cynical disdain for complainants in these child abuse allegations.”

Mr Pollard is accused of removing from evidence and destroying four photographs which were “important exhibits” to an investigation. He is also alleged to have misrepresented evidence to his superior in a second case so that no further action was taken.

Ms Patterson is being tried on accusations of fabricating a witness statement and of falsely representing evidence to her superior so no further action was taken against a male suspect in a case.

She is also alleged to have faked a Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) document in order to deceive her supervisor into thinking that a decision had been taken not to charge the second male suspect in the same case.

Both defendants deny the charges. The trial continues.

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