Jury told to decide whether policeman sexually assaulted missing woman
Jurors have been told to decide whether a police officer sexually assaulted a missing woman after he was sent to check on her safety following a domestic argument.
Metropolitan Police constable Rudvelle Walters, 48, is accused of putting his hand into the underwear of the young woman at the end of a 20-minute welfare check at her refuge hotel after she fled from her husband, who reported her missing.
The woman, who is Polish and in her twenties and who cannot be identified for legal reasons, told Southwark Crown Court that Walters said he would only leave her room at the Best Western in Wembley if her friend, who was also present, gave him a kiss.
He also slapped her bottom, she said.
Walters, who is of previous good character, denies one charge of sexual assault, some time shortly after 6am on February 5 2019.
He said it was the woman who was being “over-friendly” towards him, and that he did not touch her.
In her closing speech to jurors, prosecutor Abigail Husbands said: “She (the complainant) was not, you may think, out for a good time, having a few drinks with her mate, being silly with a police officer old enough to be her father.
“There is no reason for her to make this up – this allegation caused her nothing but trouble. She had no reason to lie about this man.”
Defence counsel Robert Morris, in his closing speech, said: “You may think that the real starting point is that a pretty bizarre allegation has been made against a man of good character.
“The clearest evidence you have demonstrates that her (the missing woman’s) behaviour on that night was bizarre and she hasn’t been frank with you.”
The woman said Walters sent her a Facebook friend request while in the room, and then sent a private message saying “hello” with a heart emoji when his shift finished.
However, Walters said the woman seized his phone and called her number from it, and then added her as a friend on Facebook.
He said any subsequent message to her from his account was sent in error, due to his “fat fingers” pressing the wrong button as he tried to delete the prompt.
His Honour Judge Andrew Goymer said, in his summing up to jurors: “Did he (Walters) sexually assault her by slapping her on the buttocks and putting his hand in her underwear?
“That is the task that faces you.”
The jury will be sent out on Friday.