MPS officer acquitted of sexual assault charge
An officer from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has been acquitted of sexually assaulting a missing woman during a welfare check.
A jury at Southwark Crown Court unanimously found Rudvelle Walters, 48, not guilty of the only charge he faced following a week-long trial after deliberating for 54 minutes.
The prosecution then offered no evidence on a second outstanding charge of attempted sexual assault.
Mr Walters, a police constable with the MPS for 18 years, always denied allegations that he put his hand inside the female complainant’s underwear and slapped her bottom, and said it was the woman who was over-friendly with him as he tried to do his job.
The allegations were made by a Polish woman in her twenties, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
The court heard Mr Walters had been called to her room at the Best Western in Wembley, north-west London, in the early hours of February 5, 2019 after she was reported missing by her husband following an argument.
Giving evidence in his trial, Mr Walters said he had not touched the complainant during the 20-minute welfare check, at which he said she was “being difficult” and not answering his questions.
He said: “I did not touch her in any way, she touched me. She tried to give me a high five. But I didn’t touch her.”
Defence counsel Robert Morris said: “It is alleged you put your hand into her underwear.”
Mr Walters replied: “Not at all, that did not happen at all.”
Mr Walters, originally from Jamaica, said the woman seized his phone and called her telephone number from it, and then used his phone to send a Facebook friend request.
He said any subsequent message to her from his account was sent in error, due to his “fat fingers” pressing the “send” button instead of deleting the prompt.
Prosecutor Abigail Husbands accused Walters of changing details in his various accounts of that night.
But Mr Walters said his innocence would have been proven had he remembered to switch his body-worn camera on. He said: “And if I had my camera on, I wouldn’t be here now, because it would show what I was accused of was not true.”
The MPS said last week that Mr Walters had been suspended from duty.