Cop charged with attempted rape, false imprisonment and sexual assault against three women

26 July 2022, 20:40

PC Matthew Tregale, 33, denied all the charges at Plymouth Magistrates' Court
PC Matthew Tregale, 33, denied all the charges at Plymouth Magistrates' Court. Picture: Alamy

By Megan Hinton

A police officer has appeared in court after being accused of a string of offences including attempted rape and false imprisonment against three women over an 18-year period.

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PC Matthew Tregale, 33, of Kingsteignton, Newton Abbot, faces four counts of sexual assault by penetration and one count of attempted rape against one woman between 2005 and 2010.

He is further accused of two counts of false imprisonment and one of harassment with the threat of violence against the same woman.

The Devon and Cornwall based officer is charged with controlling and coercive behaviour of a second woman between December 2015 and July 2020, and against a third between April 2021 and August 2021.

It is alleged that that the defendant used police restraint techniques against the complainants, including the use of handcuffs, prosecutor Philip Sewell said.

He held a knife against one of the women's cheeks, it is claimed, and threatened to make allegations about another to her employer so that she would lose her job.

Read more: Teenager, 18, jailed after hacking women's Snapchat accounts and threatened to post nudes

The court heard that Tregale has never been arrested, and was instead charged via postal requisition.

He was first interviewed in May 2020, the court heard, and was placed on restricted duties but was not suspended from Devon and Cornwall Police until he was charged.

Deputy Chief Magistrate Tan Ikram remarked he was "surprised" the case had been dealt with via postal requisition given the nature of the alleged offences.

Judge Ikram, who heard the case from Westminster Magistrates' Court in London via video link, remanded Tregale into custody until 2pm when he will hear representations about bail and set a date for the next hearing.

Devon and Cornwall Police said in a statement on July 22 that Tregale has now been suspended from duty.

"The charges relate to incidents which occurred whilst the officer was off duty between 2006 and 2021," the force said.