Policeman who admitted sexual assaults while on duty jailed for four years


A policeman who sexually assaulted a female passenger in his patrol car and went on to grope a woman who reported a missing person has been jailed for four years.

Pc Steven Walters, 48, left his victims suffering panic attacks, anxiety and depression after committing the offences two months apart while on duty in 2015.

Stafford Crown Court was told the West Midlands Police officer, who was based in Sutton Coldfield, attacked the older of his two victims in her own home - touching her under her skirt before asking to be taken to a bedroom.

Walters admitted two counts of sexual assault at a previous hearing, including an offence in which he placed his hand on the thigh of a woman aged in her 20s who was offered a lift home in the early hours.

Passing sentence, Judge Paul Glenn told Walters: "The public are entitled to have faith in police officers and to trust them in the discharge of their powers and responsibilities, which are considerable.

"You exploited that trust and you have brought disgrace on yourself and indeed the force you served."

The first victim, the judge said, had simply been walking home after midnight when Walters' colleague asked her "what she was doing at that time of night in that dress".

The court heard the woman, who cannot be named, was left scared and feeling "creeped out" by the sustained incident in Sutton Coldfield.

Walters' other victim, whose children were in her property in other rooms, experienced feelings of disgust and anxiety after being forced to avoid attempts to kiss her face and neck.

Judge Glenn, who opted not make an order against Walters for £18,500 in prosecution costs, said the officer believed he could easily explain away the offences if he was reported to his own force.

Referring to a probation report prepared on Walters, the judge added: "Nowhere within that report do I see any remorse.

"The inference I draw is the same as the probation officer - you did not expect the victims to report this because of the fact that you were a police officer.

"You were confident you could deal with any allegations by lying."

In a statement issued after Walters was jailed, West Midlands Chief Constable Dave Thompson confirmed that the response officer had been dismissed from the force on Monday for gross misconduct.

Apologising for Walters' offences, Mr Thompson said: "The public expects simple things from the police: that they can trust us, that we offer friendship and service to people in need, and that vulnerable people are safe in our care.

"Pc Walters has engaged in criminal activity that has shocked me. In 26 years' police service, this is one of the worst violations of policing integrity I have ever seen."

The older victim was attacked after dialling 999 to report that a child had gone missing, police said.

Walters, whose address cannot be published because of a court order sought by West Midlands Police, was dismissed from his post without notice.

The Pc was arrested in May last year and initially denied any wrongdoing, but pleaded guilty last month after his DNA was found on garments worn by his second victim.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission, which investigated the offences, praised the courage of the victims who reported the assaults.

IPCC Commissioner Derrick Campbell said: "We carried out a thorough investigation after this matter was referred to us, and that found that Walters had completely abused his position of trust by targeting and taking advantage of vulnerable women for his own sexual gratification.

"Walters has now paid a heavy price for his actions, and I hope this case demonstrates that those who engage in such inappropriate and criminal behaviour will be held to account.

"I would like to again praise the courage and bravery of the women who came forward to give evidence against him, and hope that they can now move on in the knowledge that justice has been done."