Jailed policemen who slept with woman were 'sexual predators'

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The Independent Online

Two former police officers were revealed to be "sexual predators" yesterday, immediately after they were jailed for having sex with a woman while on duty.

Two former police officers were revealed to be "sexual predators" yesterday, immediately after they were jailed for having sex with a woman while on duty.

Mark Witcher, 30, and Andrew Lang, 31, former PCs with Surrey Police, were jailed for 15 months after being found guilty of three charges of wilful misconduct while on public duty. However, the two men, who have been sacked and will lose their police pensions, were cleared of further charges of rape and indecent assault.

After the verdict, it emerged investigations into the two officers had unveiled a catalogue of incidents of "inappropriate" and sexual misconduct. The revelation prompted prosecutors and police to consider appealing against the 15-month sentences, which they branded as too lenient.

The guilty charges related to an incident during which Witcher and Lang had sex with a 23-year-old mother at her home in Godalming after she called police to report an alleged assault.

Sentencing the two men, the judge Mr Justice Davis told Winchester Crown Court: "What you did, in my view, is a disgrace and you have brought great disgrace on yourselves, on the uniform you wore that night."

Speaking after the sentencing, Mark Rowley, Assistance Chief Constable of Surrey Police, said there was a history of misconduct by the former officers towards female prisoners, colleagues and members of the public while on duty.

"We have examples of other behaviour described by one of our other female officers that were sexually predatory in nature," he said. "The overwhelming picture is something beyond an isolated incident."

Detective Chief Inspector Brian Russell, the investigating officer, also described how Witcher had been involved in a separate incident with two teenage girls found drunk in Guildford town centre.

He told how Witcher and a colleague Guy Rogers, who has since been sacked, picked up the two 18-year-olds in a police van and engaged in sexual games with them which included handcuffing the two girls together with their consent.