Police officer 'sent naked selfie to sex assault victim and said he wanted to use handcuffs on her'

2 August 2022, 00:20

Sussex Police headquarters in Lewes.
Sussex Police headquarters in Lewes. Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

A police officer has been accused of sending a naked selfie to a victim after she complained she had been sexually assaulted in a pub.

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A disciplinary hearing on Monday heard that the Sussex Police sergeant, who has been granted anonymity, told the woman he wanted to take her home and use his police handcuffs on her.

He also allegedly told the victim she made him so 'aroused' he would have sexually assaulted her himself, the Mail Online reports.

The serving police officer, known as PS X, was approached by the female victim after she wanted to report being sexually assaulted in a bar in Hastings, East Sussex.

The victim, known as Female A, alleged the incident happened in March 2014, when she was enjoying a night out with her two sisters.

They were drinking in Yates wine bar when Female A was groped by a man who put his hand up her skirt, Cecily White, for Sussex Police said.

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The man in question was thrown out of the pub and the victim went outside to report what had happened to the police.

She gave a statement to officer PS X, who was patrolling the town at the time.

The sergeant allegedly began making "sexually suggestive" and "flirtatious" comments, telling the victim she was "turning me on".

The hearing was told officer PS X then suggested taking her home and using his handcuffs on her, before taking her phone number and later sending her a full-length naked selfie.

The hearing was told the victim did not make a formal complaint because she was scared and had deleted evidence from her phone, including the naked selfie and the flirtatious comments.

She only reported the incident in 2020 after the officer's name cropped up in an unconnected matter.

Jayne Butler of Rape Crisis told Mail Online that giving the officer anonymity "does nothing to build up public trust".

"It speaks to a culture of misogyny, where the reputation of a police officer trumps the safety of women and girls," she said.

A spokesperson for Sussex Police told the newspaper: "Only the most serious cases are considered for a misconduct hearing and every hearing has an appointed Legally Qualified Chair (LQC) who is independent of Sussex Police.

"It is the responsibility of the LQC alone to determine whether or not a hearing is partially or wholly held in public or in private and whether any participant should be anonymised. Sussex Police are directed by and must abide by rulings made by the panel chair. Any officer attending a hearing has the right to make representations for it to be held in private."