Policeman cleared over sexual assault claim during welfare check

Rudvelle Walters (PA Wire)
18:07pm, Fri 25 Jun 2021
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An experienced Metropolitan Police officer broke down in tears as he was acquitted of sexually assaulting a missing woman during a welfare check.

Rudvelle Walters, 48, initially showed no emotion as jurors at Southwark Crown Court found him not guilty of the only charge he faced following a week-long trial.

But, moments later, he could be seen wiping tears from his eyes before briefly shaking his head.

He walked silently out of the courtroom after being discharged by His Honour Judge Andrew Goymer, who thanked the seven men and five women on the jury for their service.

It had taken them 54 minutes in retirement to decide on the unanimous verdict.

Rudvelle Walters court case (PA Wire)

The prosecution then offered no evidence on a second outstanding charge of attempted sexual assault.

Mr Walters, a police constable with the Met for 18 years, always denied allegations that he put his hand inside the female complainant’s underwear and slapped her bottom, and said it was the woman who was over-friendly with him as he tried to do his job.

The allegations were made by a Polish woman in her twenties, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

The court heard Mr Walters had been called to her room at the Best Western in Wembley, north-west London, in the early hours of February 5 2019 after she was reported missing by her husband following an argument.

Giving evidence in his trial, Mr Walters said he had not touched the complainant during the 20-minute welfare check, at which he said she was “being difficult” and not answering his questions.

Southwark Crown Court stock (PA Wire)

He said: “I did not touch her in any way, she touched me.

“She tried to give me a high five. But I didn’t touch her.”

Defence counsel Robert Morris said: “It is alleged you put your hand into her underwear.”

Mr Walters replied: “Not at all, that did not happen at all.”

Mr Walters, originally from Jamaica, said the woman seized his phone and called her telephone number from it, and then used his phone to send a Facebook friend request.

He said any subsequent message to her from his account was sent in error, due to his “fat fingers” pressing the “send” button instead of deleting the prompt.

Prosecutor Abigail Husbands accused Walters of changing details in his various accounts of that night.

But Mr Walters said his innocence would have been proven had he remembered to switch his body-worn camera on.

He said: “And if I had my camera on, I wouldn’t be here now, because it would show what I was accused of was not true.”

Scotland Yard said Mr Walters’ suspension would be reviewed in light of the acquittal.

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