Rape charge police officer described as ‘honest’

STUART JENKINS

STUART JENKINS

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

A POLICE officer accused of raping a drunk woman has been described as ‘trustworthy, honest and reliable’ by a string of character witnesses.

PC Stuart Jenkins, 38, has denied sexually assaulting the alleged victim as she slept at her home in early 2011 and is on trial at Preston Crown Court.

And Jenkins’s counsel, Lisa Roberts, has described his accuser as a ‘clever and manipulative’ woman whose account was neither credible nor valid.

Jenkins, of Springfield Road, Holcombe Brook, has been accused by the prosecution with developing an interest in ‘extreme pornography’ and acting out what he had seen online with his alleged victim.

She has insisted that she only reported the alleged rape – where she claims she awoke to find him on top of her having sex – last May after ‘a constant battle in my head’ over whether Jenkins had meant to sexually assault her.

But addressing the jury in her closing speech, Miss Roberts said that they should not be ‘distracted’ by the prosecution’s pornography claims as they were ‘irrelevant’ regarding whether the offence had been committed or not.

The defence barrister also told the jury that two of her friends had come to give evidence of a false claim of a physical assault outside a nightclub. Another friend was also told that the alleged rape had actually occurred against a living room wall.

Miss Roberts said Jenkins was ‘well-regarded, well-respected and well-liked’ by friends and colleagues who knew him in his role as a neighbourhood police officer for Greater Manchester Police.

The court heard that there was also a discrepancy with the date of the alleged rape.

Prosecutor Nick Kennedy, in his closing speech, said the exact date that the rape occurred was perhaps not as important as whether the jury believed the alleged victim’s account over whether it happened or not.

The Recorder of Preston, Judge Anthony Russell QC, was due to begin his summing up today.

(Proceeding)

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