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Ex-police sergeant who raped woman on a lunch break jailed for 11 years
13 January 2021, 18:43 | Updated: 13 January 2021, 18:49
An ex-police sergeant who raped a woman twice, including once while he was on a break from work, has been jailed for 11 years.
Derek Seekings was handed the prison sentence on Wednesday afternoon after being convicted of raping a woman twice between 1994 and 2000.
The 66-year-old, who served with Surrey Police until 2005, inflicted "severe psychological harm" on his victim, a court heard.
In a statement read out at Lewes Crown Court, the woman described the "harrowing" impact the attacks and subsequent trial has had on her mental health.
"I am nervous of phone numbers I do not know or when someone is unexpectedly at the door," she said.
Prosecutor Jennifer Gray told the court: "A clearly aggravating factor was the fact that the defendant was a serving police officer at the time, and count one took place while the defendant was on duty."
Earlier in the trial, prosecutor Ms Gray explained how one of the assaults took place while Seekings was on a break from work.
"She made it very clear to him she didn't want to have sex with him, he carried on regardless and he raped her," she told jurors.
The trial heard that Seekings was suspended from duty for a number of months and demoted to constable in the late 1990s following a car accident which led to a driving conviction.
Following his retirement in 2005, he was arrested and charged with rape after the woman reported the historical incidents.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was left "very upset and distressed about what had gone on", the prosecutor said.
Judge Stephen Mooney also said Seekings would be on the sex offenders register indefinitely.
Passing sentence Judge Mooney said: "I acknowledge that prison will be difficult for you both as an ex-police officer and the current conditions".
Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Alison Barlow said: “Derek Seekings left Surrey Police some 12 years before these allegations were reported to us but the offences were committed while he was still a serving police officer.
“We expect extremely high standards of behaviour from our officers and staff, standards which Seekings fell woefully below – his behaviour was simply reprehensible."
Ms Barlow affirmed there was a "thorough and robust investigation" into the incidents, which began "as soon as we became aware of the allegations against him".
"We will always fully investigate any complaints if they are made against our staff, whether retired or serving," she added.
"I want to reassure our communities that his actions are not indicative of policing nor the high standards we expect at Surrey Police and sadly detracts from the dedication our workforce show day in and day out in serving the public."