Former police officer 'targeted vulnerable women'

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A former police officer used his position to target vulnerable women and force them to perform sex acts on him, a court heard today.

Kenny Lewis, 25, has pleaded guilty at Exeter Crown Court to five counts of misconduct in a public office - namely engaging in sexual activity while on duty as a police officer.

Lewis, who served with Avon and Somerset Constabulary at the time of the offences, has denied three counts of rape and one charge of misconduct in a public office, namely engaging in sexual activity in a police car while on duty.

The former officer is alleged to have committed the offences between 2005 and 2008.

He resigned as a police constable in December last year.

William Mousley, prosecuting, told the court that Lewis's "modus operandi" was to introduce himself to women who had been involved in a crime as a witness, victim or perpetrator.

"He would use that contact as an excuse for visiting them or phoning them, often under the guise of carrying out further inquiries, it was not their welfare he was interested in; it was his own pleasure," Mr Mousley said.

"If someone who was vulnerable complained about a police officer that officer may deny it and use the respectability that goes with being in the police force to say 'who will believe you over me?'.

"This was no simple error of judgment by a person in a responsible job. This was harassment and continued sexual behaviour by him towards women who he believed would not complain or if they did would not be believed over him, a respectable police officer.

"It was his status as a police officer that facilitated this, he wore a uniform, carried handcuffs and used a police vehicle and police computers."