Met Police detective Clifford Earl jailed for sexual assault

A Met Police detective who sexually assaulted two women while on duty has been jailed for 12 months.

Det Con Clifford Earl, 57, molested a vulnerable woman after her partner was arrested, Southwark Crown Court heard.

He had remained behind by himself to comfort her and take a statement.

The married father-of-two from Sittingbourne, Kent, also kissed and begged another woman for sex in her kitchen after she called police when her son's bike was violently stolen.

Both offences were committed in 2011, but Earl, who worked out of Walworth police station in east London, was only charged in January this year because of delays blamed on the original investigating officer, who was removed from the case.

Judge Michael Gledhill called for an inquiry into the delay.

Earl admitted two charges of sexual assault at a court hearing in May.

'Undermined public confidence'

His wife of 33 years was suffering with bowel cancer and chronic leukaemia at the time of the offences, Southwark Crown Court was told.

Sentencing Earl, Judge Gledhill said the 12-month term was an "act of mercy" because of his wife's ongoing illness and berated him for his behaviour.

"You were a serving police officer at the time," he said.

"The public are entitled to expect their police officers to protect the foundations of our civilised society.

"You have considerably undermined public confidence in the police service as a result of your behaviour."

Earl is expected to serve six months before being released on licence.

He was sacked last week by the Met after a career of 33 years.

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