Ex-police inspector accused of sexual offences against 18 people in Hampshire

<span>Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA</span>
Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA

A former police inspector has appeared in court charged with sexual offences against 18 people, some as young as 17.

Gerard Hutchings, of Ashurst, Hampshire, faces 29 counts, including allegations of indecent assaults, causing a person to engage in sexual activity and misconduct in a public office.

Hutchings, 64, spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth at the preliminary hearing at Southampton magistrates court.

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Judge Greenfield, the district judge, sent the case to be heard at Southampton crown court on 5 January and released Hutchings on unconditional bail until then. He told him: “I will send all these cases to the crown court, I will grant you unconditional bail. If you are not there the judge can issue a warrant, otherwise free to go.”

The complainants were aged between 17 and 31 at the time of the alleged incidents, according to Hampshire police.

Confirming the charges, police said: “The alleged offending took place between 1999 and 2007 in various police stations across the Hampshire force area, where Mr Hutchings worked as an inspector. He left the force in 2007. The Operation Marmion team began an investigation in 2021, following reports about this alleged offending.”