Two police officers and two pilots accused of misusing a police helicopter to film naked sunbathers and a couple having sex have been cleared of all charges.
Pilots Matthew Loosemore, 45, and Malcolm Reeves, 64, and police officers Lee Walls, 47, and Matthew Lucas, 43, were charged after another officer, Pc Adrian Pogmore, shot the footage from the South Yorkshire Police helicopter.
Pogmore, 51, of Guilthwaite Crescent, Whiston, Rotherham, who was the only person in the aircraft when all four of the offending videos were filmed, had admitted four counts of misconduct in a public office.
But the other men told the jury they did not know what Pogmore was doing as he filmed the sequences using the chopper’s high-powered camera.
And the jury the jury of six men and six women at Sheffield Crown Court agreed, clearing them of misconduct in a public office charges.
The jury had been shown footage shot from the aircraft, including an 11-minute sequence clearly featuring a couple having sex on their patio in a range of positions.
At one point in the footage, the woman waves at the helicopter.
Pogmore, who was described by prosecutors as “a swinging and sex-obsessed air observer”, knew the couple through the wife-swapping scene and had even previously had sex with the woman.
Some of the defendants appeared to be in tears after the jury foreman returned the verdicts following four hours of deliberation.
Their families in the public gallery overlooking the court hugged each other and cried.
As Lucas left the courtroom he said “thank you” to the jury.
The judge said: “The defendants are dismissed. You can all go home.”
Pogmore, who has already been sacked by South Yorkshire Police, will be sentenced on Tuesday.