‘Predatory’ PCs had sex with women they met while responding to domestic abuse incidents

todayAugust 12, 2023 5

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‘Predatory’ PCs had sex with women they met while responding to domestic abuse incidents

A “predatory” police constable and a former officer are set to be jailed after having sex with vulnerable women on duty.

West Midlands PC Anthony Ritchie and his ex-colleague Steven Walters had sexual relationships with a total of three women, some of whom they met while responding to domestic abuse incidents.

Ritchie, 46, had sex with one woman after arresting her partner and began a sexual relationship with another after trying to arrest her son.

Walters, 55, initiated oral sex with two women while responding to domestic abuse incidents in 2013, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said.

One of the women went on to have a sexual relationship with Ritchie months later.

The IOPC said Ritchie first began a sexual relationship with the woman after she reported a domestic violence incident in June 2014.

The pair were found to have contacted each other on Ritchie’s personal phone and had sex after he arrested the woman’s partner.

The woman then told him she was pressured into oral sex by Walters in October 2013 when he responded to a domestic abuse call.

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The IOPC said the woman expected PC Ritchie to act on her allegations but this did not happen.

When different officers attended the same woman’s home for an unrelated incident in 2018, she made disclosures to them, sparking the IOPC investigation.

In May 2021, a second woman said she had been in a sexual relationship with Ritchie in 2014.

Ritchie asked the woman on a date after going to her home to arrest her son, had sex with her on duty and persuaded her to lie to senior officers about how they met after the woman’s son complained.

Then, in November 2021, a third woman complained that Walters initiated oral sex while attending a domestic abuse incident at her partner’s home in 2013.

The men were each found guilty of two counts of misconduct in a public office at Birmingham Crown Court.

The trial, which lasted 12 days, was told Walters was jailed for sexually assaulting two different women in 2015 and dismissed by West Midlands Police in 2016.

The pair have been told by Judge Roderick Henderson that they should expect to be jailed when they are sentenced on 21 September.

Derrick Campbell, IOPC regional director, said: “Abuse of power for sexual gain is a breach of the public’s trust, which seriously undermines confidence in the police service and discredits the profession.

“The actions of PC Ritchie and ex-PC Walters were quite rightly described as predatory during the trial and an aggravating feature is that they consistently targeted women who were in vulnerable situations and looking to the police for help.

“Both officers have behaved disgracefully and in PC Ritchie’s case our investigations established that while he was having a relationship with two women at the same time after meeting them through work, he was also going through a disciplinary procedure for inappropriate text messages sent to another woman he met while on duty.”

Rosemary Ainslie, head of the CPS Special Crime Division, said: “This was predatory behaviour from two police officers who abused their position of trust while on duty serving the public.

“Both Walters and Ritchie took advantage of vulnerable women after visiting them for police purposes.

“I want to commend the bravery of the women in this case for coming forward and providing the evidence to enable us to secure these convictions.”

West Midlands Police has been approached for comment.

Written by: Newsroom

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