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Blackburn police officer had sex on duty - claim
Updated 5:00pm Friday 18th July 2014 in News
A POLICE officer ignored three urgent call-outs because he was having sex with a woman he met at a previous incident, it was alleged in court.
Lee Calvin Haworth, a PC with Hyndburn police's immediate response team, admits visiting the woman's house during working hours but denies misconduct in public office.
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Haworth also denies unlawfully obtaining information from police logs about a crash involving his own car.
On the first day of an expected week-long trial at Liverpool Crown Court, prosecutor Keith Sutton said Haworth's alleged behaviour had placed his ability to properly police his patch 'in jeopardy'.
The court heard that the 39-year-old from Blackburn struck up a relationship with Katrina Ianson-Hughes during the investigation of an alleged assault in Oswaldtwistle last March.
The court was told that the pair exchanged phone numbers and 'flirtatious' texts 'of a sexual nature' which involved Haworth's police-issued personal digital assistant (PDA) device.
The texts resulted in Haworth, who was already in a relationship, visiting Ms Ianson-Hughes' home in Tennyson Avenue, Oswaldtwistle, for sex, Mr Sutton said.
Mr Sutton said that on April 5 last year, GPS records for Haworth's police car showed that he stopped off at her home for around one hour during a night shift.
Mr Sutton said: "He was there for little under an hour and the purpose was nothing to do with policing. It was so they could have sexual intercourse.
"He was not in a position to respond to any calls on his radio. He wasn't dressed properly and left it to other officers to deal with issues while he had sex.
"He removed himself and his police vehicle from his role patrolling the local area, which meant he would provide neither a deterrent nor the ability to observe illegal activity.
While Haworth was at Ms Ianson-Hughes's house, his radio received one emergency call-out and two high-priority jobs.
Mr Sutton said: "At 11.45pm there was a code two (high priority) call out on his radio. He responded that he would attend, but he didn't move from Ms Ianson-Hughes's address.
"At 11.58pm when another officer arrived at the scene, the defendant's call out was cancelled. At 11.54pm a code one call, which required an emergency response, came through.
"This was not a direct call to the defendant but one that went out on the radio. He was one of those who should have responded.
"Another code two call at 12.26am, which concerned the welfare of an elderly man, received no response at all.
“The prosecution say the reason he didn't move is because he was on a social visit involving himself having sexual intercourse.
"The defendant took no part in policing activity, either by supporting his colleagues or providing a visible presence on the streets. His conduct was clearly misconduct in a public office.”
Mr Sutton added: "He had met Ms Ianson-Hughes as a result of an incident in which she was either a victim or suspect. Within 24 hours he had returned to her place and exchanged phone numbers.
"The prosecution says this was unsuitable to say the very least."
When Haworth was interviewed about the misconduct charge, he denied having sex with Ms Ianson-Hughes but admitted using his PDA to contact her.
He also dismissed the text messages between the two as 'fantasy', denied failing to respond to his radio, but admitted visiting her address and claimed he didn't realise he had stayed for so long.
Giving evidence Ms Ianson-Hughes said she first had sex with Haworth on March 30 when he arrived at her home in full uniform.
She told the jury: "I wasn't aware if he was on duty or not. We had sex in the bedroom. His clothing was on the floor. His radio was there. He heard it. I heard it while we had sex."
Referring to the second occasion they had sex, on April 5, Ms Ianson-Hughes said: "I let him in and we went into the kitchen and started kissing and had sex there. I knew he was on duty. He was in his uniform."
She added that she could hear the words 'code' and 'two' coming from Haworth's radio, but didn't know what they meant.
Earlier Sgt Dennis Sullivan and administrator Janine McBride, both from Lancashire police, were asked to give evidence about Haworth's access to police logs after his personal car was damaged at the end of a police chase on February 19 last year.
Sgt Sullivan said he had suspicions about Haworth's knowledge of the particulars of the incident when he hadn't been involved in its investigation.
He said: "It was quite apparent that he knew parts of the incident that he would not have been informed of by officers at the time."
Haworth denies breaching the Data Protection Act by knowingly or recklessly obtaining personal data using Lancashire police systems.
The trial continues.