Married detective, 53, 'abused his rank to pressurise 21 policewomen and junior staff into sex over a period of 14 years before resigning in disgrace'

No comments
A senior detective abused his rank to pressurise policewomen and junior staff into sex over a period of 14 years, a disciplinary hearing heard. 
Detective Inspector Simon Hurwood, 53, sexually gratified himself with 21 'subordinate and vulnerable' female police staff while he was employed by Cleveland Police. 
He resigned from the force in disgrace last month after women involved came forward following anonymous emails to the force's Counter Corruption Unit.
Hurwood was arrested by officers from his own force in March but no criminal action against him has yet been taken.
Some of his behaviour came while he worked for the force's professional standards department, the misconduct hearing in Middlesbrough was told.
John Beggs, QC, for Cleveland Police, said: 'Former DI Simon Hurwood joined Cleveland Police in February 1991.
'He faces allegations in respect of 21 females: officers, staff and some non-policing personnel. The allegations range from the less serious through to the serious through to the extremely serious.
'Their common theme is that DI Hurwood, over a lengthy period of time, abused his rank and status to gratify himself sexually with, almost always, subordinate and vulnerable females.' 
Hurwood, a father of three who is currently married to his second wife, has not admitted to any sexually inappropriate behaviour and in every case denies misconduct. 
He said the sexual behaviour was always consensual and came while he and the woman involved were off duty.
In some instances he apologised if he 'came across as letchy' and said some of the women 'misunderstood his humorous banter.' 
Mr Beggs said Hurwood would target those with issues in their personal lives, would offload his own personal issues to 'elicit sympathy,' and would send ordinary texts before escalating to flirtatious ones.
At that point Hurwood would begin to asked for explicit photos or videos from his 'targets' and would 'obsess about matters such as the females' knicker colour.'
Mr Beggs said: 'One of his several obsessions appears to be to seek the colour of the females' knickers, this happening on police premises and while on duty on many occasions.'
'Those complainants who speak of sexual relations with DI Hurwood are consistent in their contention that they succumbed to such relations not out of free choice but out of the circumstances in which they found themselves.' 
Mr Beggs said that in using his rank to pursue the women Hurwood 'displayed a flagrant and deep-seated lack of professional integrity.'
He asked the panel: 'How can one otherwise characterise having sexual activity in the workplace - sometimes in the Professional Standards Department, of all places.'  
Witness A, a probationer constable, gave an account of how Hurwood's sexual harassment made her feel physically sick.
The victim, who was in her first two years in the job, said he would ask her what she liked to do in bed and what colour her knickers were.
The hearing heard Hurwood touched her sexually without her consent, and coerced her into performing sex acts on numerous occasions.
Witness A said: 'He was making the commands and I did everything he was asking me to because I didn't feel comfortable doing it, and I certainly didn't want to, but because I was new in service I had nobody else to speak to. 
'I felt he was my boss and I had no choice and if I spoke up I probably might lose my job. I didn't know anybody and everybody knew him.
'I hated coming to work every single day.'  
Hurwood admitted some flirting and kissing with the victim but denied sexual activity with her at work or in police premises.
He did admit having consensual sex with her at her home but insisted it was she who had been pursuing him sexually.
Another young policewoman described how Hurwood kissed her on the lips when she was off duty at a pub in Yarm, Teesside.
And a third female officer, witness D, said Hurwood pursued her after he established she was having difficulties in her private life.  
Hurwood began pressuring the victim to have an affair with him and said things such as 'You gonna let me f*** you?'
When she informed him that she was pregnant from a relationship with another man, Hurwood replied: 'At least now when you let me f*** you, you won't fall pregnant.'
She said what he said to her made her feel sick. 
Witness F said in her statement that Hurwood showed an interest in her underwear, a common complaint from almost all the 21 women.
He told witness F, who had worn trousers at work: 'Next time make sure you are wearing a skirt' and asked her 'What colour underwear are you wearing?'
When she told him he had 'crossed a line' he mockingly replied: 'That's my wrists slapped.'
Only one of the complainants was of a senior rank, but that did not stop Hurworth engaging her in sexual conversations, suggesting they had an affair and kissing her on the cheek, the hearing was told.
The senior officer described him as 'creepy' and brought up his behaviour in his next professional development meeting.
Witness J told how she was coerced into performing a sex act on Hurwood in his office.
She told investigators that being much younger than him she was confused.
'He was old enough to be my dad but then because I liked the attention and obviously the flattery and the comments I just did it. I kept messaging him,' she said. 
Witness I told how he pestered her about sexual role play in online messages. 
Mr Beggs told the disciplinary hearing: 'He tutored [witness] I into sending him sexual messages. As ever he was interested with the colour of her knickers. 
'Some of the sexual scenarios he posted with I had disturbing overtones [for example] the schoolgirl/headmaster one.'
Witness H was 'swamped' with text messages in what the hearing was told was 'determined grooming'.
After promising 'I'll do everything I can in my career to help you with yours,' Hurwood's texts became sexual to the point H would 'feel sick' when his name flashed up on her phone. 
Hurwood persuaded her to send him sexually explicit photographs and video clips. 
In her statement she said she would leave the office feeling 'physically sick and shaky.' 

No comments :

Post a Comment

Thanks For Sharing Your Views