- Detective Constable Smith is an officer in the Northumbria Police. He was the officer in the case in two cases of alleged rape involving different individuals. A person called Witness A, who features in this case, was the mother of one of the complainants. Witness B was the sister of a male complainant who had made an allegation of historic sexual abuse. The two of them are not connected.
- In relation to Witness A, the admitted facts were that Detective Constable Smith telephoned Witness A in November 2016 asking when it would be convenient to take a statement from her in relation to her daughter's complaint of rape. The daughter had provided him with the number of her mother's mobile phone. A meeting was arranged, but this meeting did not take place as it was overlooked by Witness A because she had been thrown out by her partner after telling the partner that she was pregnant, which became a fact known to DC Smith in due course.
- He contacted Witness A again and arranged to take a statement, which he did. When he took the statement, he also asked her to email him some Facebook messages, which she did, having given her his work email address. Later the same day he sent texts to Witness A of a personal nature which she described in her statement. There was a text, "I couldn't believe you were [the daughter]'s mum, you looked young enough to be her sister"' and another couple of texts such as, "When you opened the door I was blown away". Witness A said that she felt flattered by these attentions. She was, because of what was happening to her, as she said, "all over the place," at the time. Following that, a large number of texts were exchanged between DC Smith and Witness A – copies of which were placed before the Disciplinary Panel.
- The content of the texts indicated that DC Smith wished to pursue a romantic relationship with Witness A and he made several comments about her good looks and very personal information was exchanged between them about the circumstances of their own relationships. He claimed that he was separated from his partner, which in the event was not true. There were also some sexually suggestive texts from him such as a desire to wash her back in the bath and there was a text concerning skin-to-skin contact and whether this reference was "Getting her going.".
- There came a time in the course of the texts, which must have taken place, it looks as if it was a period of slightly over a month, that DC Smith indicated that he wished to meet Witness A for a drink. It is necessary at this stage to read out the content of those texts. Where an ellipsis appears in a quoted text that is as it appears and does not indicate that I have omitted words. There is a text from him – unfortunately I have the times but not the dates of the texts – but there is a text from him where he talks about himself as a parent and then he adds, "Have a think about my invitation," this was an invitation for a drink. The answer from Witness A, "Absolutely, we will and do, yeah I can imagine. LOL! When [the daughter] told me she was pregnant, I thought my world had ended, but it didn't and I love Alister to bits, can't imagine life without him, just need to keep on the right path". She goes on, "A drink would be lovely, I'm only a little worried of any implications for [the daughter]'s case". The response in relation to that part of the text was, "OK, I don't know what will happen yet as I still have enquiries to do. If it went to court, which I can't promise, it would be vital no-one knew we went for a drink or anything … that make sense? If you would rather wait, it's fine, I would understand…". The rest of that text, unfortunately, is not well copied. In it DC Smith went on to say that their connection would have a bearing if "you were upset with me if [the daughter] did not get the result she wants." He then wrote 'Or if it went to court and the defence knew we were friends or closer. That make sense? I won't disclose but it is important [the daughter] etc. don't know as if he finds out, he may use it to his advantage, that makes sense'. I should add that that is DC Smith referring to the danger that there would be a disclosure of his connection with Witness A. So, having sent the first text saying that it was vital no-one knew, he then goes on in the second text to explain why it is important that [the daughter] does not know, for if the defendant finds out he may use it to his advantage.
- The response from Witness A is:
"Glenn I'm absolutely aware of what could happen etc…. honestly I am quite intelligent you know lol.
Whatever the outcome, I would not be upset with you…. I know what your job entails…. and I know you're not a judge... if you and I were to meet outside of work, then I can assure you it would be in absolute confidence that no-one would know. I'd never want to do anything to jeprodise (sic) [the daughter]'s case.
With you having read [the daughter]'s history etc… does that not put you off me? Lol"
"No, why would I? I can see you and the family have tried very hard to help her. [the daughter] is lovely. Every time I speak to her she says, "Thank you" for everything I've done, I haven't done anything apart from check on her and keep her up to date with what's happening. Alister is lovely as well. But if we do go further, I have to forget about that and so do you… does that make sense? We have got very serious and I am taking up your night out".
"not serious, just cautious, lol I think it's best to air it all before, if and when, you and were (sic) to meet for a drink.
I absolutely agree with everything you've said. Just on the way out no".
"OK, I like you. So good to clear the air. Have fun". So that was the exchange of texts.
Police officer tries to pull mother of rape complainant