Detective's rape conviction quashed

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A detective jailed six years ago for raping and sexually abusing a former girlfriend spoke today of his relief after his conviction was quashed.

A detective jailed six years ago for raping and sexually abusing a former girlfriend spoke today of his relief after his conviction was quashed.

Detective Constable David Potter's nine-year sentence was overturned at London's High Court today.Speaking after the hearing, he said: "I just want to thank everybody who has supported me today. Today is a vindication of the faith they had in me.

"I now just want to get on with the rest of my life."

Mr Potter added: "I have got no comment on the law.

"My plans now are to go away and try to relax. I have had no sleep for a long time."

A jury at Liverpool Crown Court in December 1998 found the former detective guilty of rape, false imprisonment and three offences of indecent assault.

The divorced father of two, who had been in the police force for 15 years, denied all the charges.

During the six-day trial, the jury was told the detective, of Beech Road, Huyton, Merseyside, had tied up, abused and humiliated his 36-year-old victim before raping her with his truncheon.

After the jury returned unanimous guilty verdicts, the judge, Mr Justice Douglas Brown, explained why he was sentencing the detective to nine years in prison instead of ten.

He told him: "I take into account your exemplary record as a police officer and the fact that prison will be a difficult place for a former detective officer.

"I reduce the sentence I would otherwise pass by 12 months because of those factors."

Lord Justice Scott Baker, Mr Justice Richards and Dame Heather Steele quashedthe conviction at the Court of Appeal today after hearing fresh evidence whichshowed the alleged victim's evidence was unreliable.

Mr Potter said of his former girlfriend: "She will remain anonymous and I had my pictures plastered over the papers."

He told Sky News: "I would like to thank my solicitor and my legal team, and my family who have worked so hard to bring this day about."

Describing his six-year jail term, he said: "Anyone can imagine it was very difficult."