WMP officer cleared of making inappropriate comments to domestic abuse victim
A serving West Midlands Police officer has been cleared of abusing his position by making sexually explicit and inappropriate comments to a domestic abuse victim.
PC Colin Noble had denied an allegation that while on duty he neglected legitimate police work in an attempt to pursue a sexual relationship with a complainant. A jury today (April 9) found him not guilty of the charges following a seven-day trial at Birmingham Crown Court.
It was alleged the officer “sexually groomed” the woman, leaving her feeling “horrible and intimidated” in her home while she was at a low ebb. PC Noble had met the woman while investigating a complaint that her abusive ex-partner breached a restraining order and sent intimate revenge porn images to her friend.
The trial followed an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct. The allegation stemmed from visits PC Noble made to the home of a woman while he was working in the force’s Public Protection Unit.
The woman made recordings of her conversations with the officer but PC Noble said his comments were merely “rapport-building” aimed at helping his inquiries. He told the court: “It was merely rapport-building. When you meet people on the jobs we do, people talk. I was trying to build a rapport with her. I was trying to emphasize that, even though she had been through an abusive relationship, that wasn’t the end of the world.”
An IOPC spokesperson said: “The woman made a complaint and we began our investigation following a referral from West Midlands Police in August 2017. The Crown Prosecution Service authorised the charge after we submitted a file in June last year (2018).
“Our investigation, completed in April last year, found that PC Noble had a case to answer for gross misconduct. This was accepted by the force, which is expected to organise a hearing in due course.”