PC in rape case was `shocked' at bruises

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A police officer denied yesterday at the Old Bailey that he had forced himself on a female colleague after getting drunk at a new year's "toffs and tarts" party at police lodgings.

Constable Michael Seear, of Lightwater, Surrey, described as "complete fabrication" the woman's claim that he suddenly changed mood when he reached his room with her and raped her.

Con Seear, 25, a Surrey Police officer, told the court that the woman, 25, had come into his room voluntarily and they had started kissing. But he told her he was tired and he was going to bed.

They had kissed and cuddled on the two nights immediately before the party, he said. They had been mutually attracted but decided not to pursue it as she was going out with his closest friend - also an officer living in the same house.

The woman had been at the party briefly with her boyfriend to see in the New Year, but the latter had to go on duty. Con Seear said the woman then returned to the party.

"I said I was glad she had come down. She had a drink. I said I was thinking of going up to bed. She said: `Fine, I will come with you'."

Con Seear denied he had been staggering drunk. "I had had a few drinks but I was certainly not incapable," he said.

He told the court he said he was tired and was going to bed. He said he would change and asked if she would come back. He said he put on shorts and a bath robe and she did return.

Con Seear said the woman had changed into a white blouse and a dark skirt and had on a lot of perfume. He told her he was going to lock the door and did. "We started kissing again. I turned off the main light and put the side light on," he said.

He said he undid the woman's bra and claimed this was not against her will. He said he kissed and fondled her but denied holding her down forcibly. He said: "No. I never tried to have intercourse with her."

"While I was biting her breasts she said `Ouch'. I stopped and said sorry. She said: `Mike, let's just lie here.' I said `OK, fine'."

He said he helped her get dressed again and they just lay on the bed for about 15 minutes talking and he dosed off. He said she woke him up and said she had better go as her boyfriend would be coming back soon.

The court was told that Con Seear joined the Surrey Police in 1993 and became friends with the woman while attending a police course. He claimed that she had made it clear she was attracted to him.

He told Timothy Langdale QC, for the defence, anyone in the corridor would have been able to hear someone shouting out. He denied going to her room the next day to apologise for what happened.

He said that when the woman had shown him her bruises,"I was shocked but I accepted I caused them. I said `Christ, I am sorry'. I asked if they hurt and she said no, she bruised quite easily. She said her boyfriend wasn't happy about them and asked what they should do."

The first he knew about the allegations, he said, was when another police officer told him the woman's boyfriend had been telling everyone Con Seear had assaulted her.

He said he was "shocked and surprised" and immediately asked to see a senior officer. He described the allegations as "a nightmare". He was suspended from duty and had to leave the lodgings.

When Mr Langdale asked him if he had ever had intercourse with the woman, he replied: "No, never."

He told Peter Clarke, for the prosecution, he felt he had never behaved in an ungentlemanly way to the woman and had nothing to reproach himself for.

The case continues.