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A police helicopter crew filmed a couple having sex in their garden when they should have been helping to investigate reports of a stolen scooter, a misconduct hearing has heard.
PC Matthew Lucas, 43, a serving officer with South Yorkshire Police, and former officer Lee Walls, 48, are accused of making several illicit recordings from the helicopter over a period of five years – including filming a woman sunbathing naked and a couple having sex.
The pair are facing a raft of allegations including breaching the Standards of Professional Behaviour, failing to report misuse of the force helicopter and giving untruthful accounts when interviewed.
Their misconduct hearing heard that both men were on board the helicopter when it was used to make four illicit recordings between 2007 and 2012.
In 2007, a woman was filmed sunbathing naked with her bikini-clad daughters, aged 18 and 15, in her garden and the following year a couple were filmed having sexual intercourse on the patio of their suburban house.
On the same day in July 2008, a naked couple were filmed at a naturists’ campsite near Doncaster, South Yorkshire, and there was footage of another couple sunbathing naked in 2012.
Opening their misconduct hearing, Richard Wright QC said the crew received a request to attend reports of a stolen scooter outside a row of shops in Rotherham, South Yorkshire but never attended and instead flew to the home of a couple who were “engaged in sexual activity” in their garden and filmed them.
PC Lucas and Mr Walls were acquitted of a number of counts of misconduct in a public office at Sheffield Crown Court in August 2017.
But independent chairman Louisa Ciecora decided that the misconduct hearing would proceed after Mr Wright said there was important evidence which was not disclosed at the criminal trial.
The pair’s colleague, Adrian Pogmore, 51, was jailed for one year and sacked from the force after a 22-year career after pleading guilty to four counts of misconduct in a public office before the trial started.
It has been claimed that Mr Pogmore was acting alone but Mr Wright told the panel that it wasn’t believable that the other crew members were not aware of the recordings.
The hearing continues and is expected to last around eight days.