Former police worker jailed after having affair with convicted rapist

31 March 2022, 17:46

A former police worker has been jailed after having an affair with convicted rapist. Picture: Wiltshire Police

By Liam Gould

A former police worker in Wiltshire has been jailed after having an affair with a convicted rapist under her supervision.

Rachel Beale was working as an offender manager for the Management of Sexual or Violent Offenders Unit of Wiltshire police force before starting the relationship.

The 53-year old has been charged at Bristol Crown Court with misconduct in public office and will serve six months in prison after previously pleading guilty to the charges in January.

She is said to have struck up a relationship for over six months with a convicted rapist Marc Few, 44, who was under her supervision.

Mr Few was arrested in 2003 and later pleaded guilty to raping a woman in the small English town of Devizes.

Prosecutor James Haskell said: "[Ms Beale's husband] went to an address where he knew Mr Few was staying and caught him naked in bed with Ms Beale on top of him in a nightdress."

She was arrested in September 2020 when the affair was alerted to the police force, and was later suspended from duty.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) was responsible for investigating the allegations.

It found Ms Beale entered an "inappropriate, intimate relationship" with the prisoner.

They added: "Despite knowing there was an imbalance of power she pursued the relationship."

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IOPC regional director Derrick Campbell said Ms Beale booked hotel rooms for the pair during the height of coronavirus restrictions.

"She also admitted misusing her police identification to book hotel rooms while Covid restrictions were in place and without policing purpose and treating him more favourably than others she was managing."

An internal gross misconduct hearing was held by the police and ruled she would have been sacked if she hadn't already resigned. Ms Beale has also been banned from working in the police force again.

In court, Judge Peter Blair QC told her: "Those who abuse trust and responsibility must understand that it is inevitable a custodial sentence is the consequence if they act in the way you did.

"It's an important matter of public deterrence for sentences to clearly flag the behaviour of the sort you fell into will be punished and will be punished severely."

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Deputy chief constable of Wiltshire Police Paul Mills said: "Rachel Beale betrayed the trust of the public, and betrayed the trust of her colleagues, when she blatantly abused her position to commit this crime.

"The outcome of this investigation and today's sentence shows that there is no place in policing for someone who behaves in this way.

He added: "I want our communities across Swindon and Wiltshire to have the utmost confidence in their police force, and, although cases like this highlight the disappointing and unacceptable minority, I hope the public can see that we are committed to rooting out any kind of misconduct and taking the appropriate action."

It comes after former Wiltshire police officer Darren Thorn was jailed for nine months. He was charged with having an inappropriate relationship with a vulnerable woman.

Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson said: "I'm exasperated and appalled that this is the second such sentencing of a Wiltshire Police employee in a little over 24 hours, where they have abused their position of trust for their own gratification.

"This will inevitably damage public confidence in policing and both the chief constable and I will eradicate any trace of corruption and misconduct within Wiltshire Police.

"We are both absolutely determined to ensure that public trust does not reach a place where it is irreparably broken."