Police officer who pushed woman in terrifying caravan attack faces jail

A police officer has admitted assaulting a woman four times. Det Sgt Paul Whitehurst - who had previously won a bravery award - was arrested by his colleagues after the incidents involving a woman from Nantwich.

During one of the assaults, Chester Police say Whitehurst, 53, pushed the victim across a caravan following a row. And on another occasion he verbally abused her and threw a pint over her after she spoke to another man at a pub.

In the final attack he pinned his victim to the floor following another disagreement. Whitehurst, of Barony Road, Nantwich, appeared at Chester Crown Court yesterday to plead guilty to four counts of section 39 assault between October and December 2023.

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Whitehurst - who had been with Warwickshire Police for 21 years before being suspended - was remanded in custody and is set to be sentenced on Monday, July 29.

Following the guilty pleas, Detective Constable Lauren Constable, from Cheshire Constabulary, said: “Police officers are placed in a position of trust and there are clear guidelines about the standards expected from them, both in and out of work.

“Whitehurst was aware of these standards, but sadly he chose to ignore them. Not only did he assault his victim multiple times, but he also went on to breach the bail conditions that were set for him by the court.

“I would like to take this as an opportunity to thank the victim for the bravery she has shown throughout this case, and I hope that the guilty plea will provide her with some closure.

“As this case demonstrates, Cheshire Constabulary is committed to investigating all offences – no matter who the alleged offender is. Police officers, staff and volunteers are not above the law and will be treated in the same way as any other suspect.”

Det Chief Insp Steve Flavell, from Warwickshire Police Professional Standards Department, paid tribute to the victim in bringing Whitehurst to justice.

"I would like to pay tribute to the victim in this case who has shown great bravery in reporting her ordeal to police, supporting this investigation, and ensuring Whitehurst faced justice," Mr Flavell said. "The public place their trust in police officers to uphold the law and look out for the most vulnerable members of society.

“Unfortunately, offences such as this damage confidence in policing. We will continue to work with our communities to rebuild this confidence by embedding the values of respect, empathy, and public service in the force. I’m sure I speak for the vast majority of officers when I say we remain committed to tackling the behaviour of the small number of officers who bring our profession into disrepute.”

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