'˜Wasn't unusual to have a poke about in those days' says Kirkby cop on rape trial

UPDATE: A former police officer from Kirkby has been accused of raping a teenage girl in her own bedroom over 30 years ago.

Saturday, 12th November 2016, 12:54 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 5:13 pm
Court story
Court story

Raymond Jeacock, 62, of Bamburgh Close, denied the charge, dating back to 1980 at Nottingham Crown Court on Wednesday.

Although his career was ended after a disciplinary hearing the next year, no criminal charges were made at the time, the court heard.

Andrew Vout, prosecuting, said Mr Jeacock, a detective constable at the time, had interviewed the girl after an incident and told her father police would have to take her home. He told a colleague he had to make an enquiry before borrowing a car to visit her mother’s house in Kirkby.

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Mr Vout told the Jury: “She started getting ready for bed when she heard someone coming upstairs.

“She thought it was her sister. She was wrong. It was Detective Constable Jeacock.”

Jeacock, then aged 26, is alleged to have partly removed her trousers and underwear and pushed her onto her bed to have sex with her.

When the girl’s father arrived at the house he allegedly whispered to her: “Don’t say a word. If he asks, say I was searching.” He then hid between the bed and the wall, but was discovered by her father. Mr Jeacock told the man he had dropped something under the bed and fled from the bedroom. A struggle ensued before Mr Jeacock was allowed to leave.

An investigation was conducted by police and a disciplinary hearing took place, in which the girl gave evidence. Mr Jeacock was asked to resign from the police force in July 1981, but no criminal charges were made against him.

“His career was ended,” said Mr Vout. The girl’s mother recalls that “everything was kept quiet, hush hush,” he added.

The victim’s character has been under scrutiny as she has a long criminal record, and she claimed the incident affected her greatly.

“For a long time she was, in her own words, not a nice person,” said the prosecutor, and it was when allegations emerged around Jimmy Savile that she was inspired to come forward to make a criminal complaint in 2014.

Jeacock said he visited the house ‘to look for stolen property’. He described the girl’s bedroom and looked in the wardrobe, but the girl had not been in the room at the time. He denied meeting the father there.

Jeacock said: “I was distraught. I never laid a finger on her. I told them categorically her complaint was not true. This is just extending the misery. 34 years down the line it can’t be right that this is coming back.”

She read from Jeacock’s interview with police two years ago that he said: “I did not touch her. I did not enter her bedroom as you describe. From that point onwards this is absolutely nonsense.

“It was just not unusual in those days to take somebody back to their home, and it wasn’t unusual to have a look around.”

In cross examination of police evidence, defence Jeremy James said the police interviewed him on the basis of two statements, while all evidence from the original case hasn’t been kept.

He said: “It’s been called ‘Life on Mars policing. But it had to be written down somewhere.”

He went on to suggest that the context of the original complaint made by the family is not even recorded.

“None of those documents are available. The possibility is it was about rape in isolation, or it was about an indecent assault in whatever form that might take. We don’t even know if (the family) was complaining about an unlawful search of the house.

“The victim has told us about an upsetting, horrible medical examination. We don’t know with certainty that that happened at all.”

Neither the victim’s nor Jeacock’s clothes are available to the court, he added.

Mr James added: “The suggestion was there had been some form of cover up, that it had been ‘brushed under the proverbial carpet’.

“It was investigated by a Superintendent - it wasn’t one of his muckers down at the station, it wasn’t a ‘leave it to me Ray, we’ll sort it’ type of investigation.”

“Another incident is alleged to have occurred much later in 2014 at the Stag and Pheasant, alleging that two people, one purported to be a chief inspector, “leant on her to drop the allegations”.

But when police investigated CCTV footage from the pub, no officers were identified.

Records that do remain, however, include the victim’s criminal record, which the court heard included a profile in its ‘useful information’ section to give markers to officers. An officer had written the words: ‘makes allegations’.

The Judge said: “This kind of case, allegations of sexual assault made decades ago, is sadly all too common in this court room.”

It is not uncommon for evidence to be missing and for testimony to be vague as memories fade, he added.

“The difference in this case is that there was an investigation at the time, and the documents are no longer available. We have to ask what’s the significance of that.”

Article edited after claims the defendent said the words ‘it wasn’t unusual to have a look around,’ instead of ‘poke around’.