Officer made sexual comments to woman to ‘build rapport’, court hears
A police officer has told a court sexual comments he made to a vulnerable victim of domestic violence were “merely rapport-building” aimed at helping his inquiries.
Pc Colin Noble told Birmingham Crown Court he feared the woman would be fobbed off by “shit, lazy and crap” colleagues from West Midlands Police.
Prosecutors claim Noble, who denies misconduct in a public office, left the victim feeling “horrible and intimidated” in her own home after grooming her while she was at a low ebb.
On the third day of his trial, the 47-year-old officer rejected suggestions that he had asked the woman to unbutton her blouse, but admitted making references to modelling and telling her: “We could be good together.”
The officer 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 emphasise that even though she had been through an abusive relationship, that wasn’t the end of the world.”
Referring to recordings made by the woman, Noble added: “You are merely getting highlights of a conversation for an hour and a half. Some of these, because of those missing parts, seem a lot worse than what they really are.”
The court heard Noble told the woman he was “not in nightclub chat-up mode” and informed her he was prepared to “go a bit extra” to help her out.
During cross-examination by prosecutor Robert Price, Noble said he had said “unbutton it” – but claimed he was referring to a toy doll the woman’s daughter was playing with.
Asked by Mr Price why he had told the woman “we could be good together” during the visit to her flat in Birmingham in 2017, Noble replied: “I think this goes back to urban talk. When I say ‘we’ here I am not talking about me and her.
“At no time was I trying to forge a relationship with her. At no time did it cross my mind that I wanted to have any form of sexual relationship with her.”
Opening the case, Mr Price said the recordings were made by the “concerned” woman because she feared nobody would believe her.
Giving evidence from behind a screen on Monday, the woman told jurors she began taping Noble, in eight separate recordings during his house call, because “he started asking me uncomfortable questions”.
The jury has been told that Noble, who was with the force’s public protection unit, was assigned to investigate a complaint that the woman’s abusive ex-partner had breached a restraining order.
The trial continues.