Police Caught Sabotaging Child Abuse Investigations, Court Hears
Detectives sabotaged cases through 'laziness' and 'cynical disdain' for victims
Two British police detectives are accused of sabotaging child abuse investigations due to "cynical disdain" for the alleged victims, London’s Old Bailey court has heard.
Detective Constables, Sharon Patterson, 49, and Lee Pollard, 47, who worked for Essex Police, stand accused of deliberately forging documents and concealing evidence over a three-year period in a series cases of reported child abuse.
Patterson and Pollard, who were in a relationship, also allegedly fabricated witness statements and gave other false information in a bid to shut down the abuse investigations, causing any charges to be dropped as a result.
Alexandra Healy QC, prosecuting, said on the opening day of their trial at the Old Bailey, the motive appeared to be a combination of laziness, self-preservation and a refusal to take complainants seriously.
The pair is accused of three counts each of misconduct in public office between 2011 and 2014, reports the Gazette and Essex County Standard.
The court heard allegations that Ms. Patterson and Mr. Pollard had misrepresented investigations, concealed evidence, and forged documents.
According to Breitbart, the allegations came about during performance reviews of the child abuse investigation team in which the couple worked, with assessors finding that the issues were “beyond incompetence” and could not be blamed on lack of staff, the prosecution said.
“The allegations against them involve the forging of documents, concealment of evidence and the misrepresentation of the state of investigations, and the evidence involved in investigations, to supervising officers,” prosecutor Alexandra Healy QC said.
“The effect was that allegations involving child sex offenses were not properly investigated.
“The motivation appears to have been a combination of laziness, self-preservation and sometimes a cynical disdain for complainants in these child abuse allegations.”
Mr. Pollard is accused of removing from evidence and destroying four photographs which were “important exhibits” to an investigation.
He is also alleged to have misrepresented evidence to his superior in a second case so that no further action was taken.
Ms. Patterson is being tried on accusations of fabricating a witness statement and of falsely representing evidence to her superior so no further action was taken against a male suspect in a case.
She is also alleged to have faked a Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) document in order to deceive her supervisor into thinking that a decision had been taken not to charge the second male suspect in the same case.
Both defendants deny the charges.
The trial continues.