Many police officers think they are above the law. Sadly, they are not wrong. Luckily, it's only when they are bent for the job this is the case. Rape doesn't count, as one found out this week.
Detective Sergeant Trevor Gray won't be feeling criminals' collars anymore, because as of Thursday, he is one himself. The BBC reported that the Nottingham sleuth, who is said to be 47, received an 8 year sentence at Derby Crown Court after the jury had deliberated for two hours, which indicates they weren't very impressed with his claim that the victim had consented.
Gray was charged last November in relation to a number of offences committed against an unnamed 43 year old woman in July 2011.
The 8 year sentence contrasts with the 5 year sentence handed down to professional footballer Ched Evans in April, but though the public has come to expect boorish and even outrageous behaviour from soccer players, it rightly expects higher standards from police officers, and the circumstances of this case appear to be particularly odious. Like Evans, Gray was granted bail, and appears to have been somewhat camera shy on his way to court.
Gray is far from the first police officer to think a warrant card in his pocket made women fair game. In 1998, PC Blott was given a ten year sentence for two rapes and an indecent assault. When he took the stand in his own defence he told the jury he was a “handsome man with a wonderful body”. That sort of banter may impress a woman in a club, especially if it is made tongue-in-cheek, but it will most certainly have alienated jurors of both sexes. As well as a police officer, Blott was a former soccer player, which likely compounded his arrogance.
The worst case though must surely be that of Paul Banfield, a custody sergeant whose crimes included raping a woman in a police cell. Twelve years ago he was given an eighteen year sentence.
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