Northumbria Pc says 'no truth' in rape claims

image caption, Mr Mitchell denies all the charges

A police officer accused of raping vulnerable women told a court he was grieving for his murdered father when one of the alleged attacks took place.

Northumbria Pc Stephen Mitchell, 42, of Glasgow, denies five counts of rape, six of indecent assault and 15 of misconduct in public office.

He told Newcastle Crown Court he was 160 miles away in Glasgow at the time of one alleged attack in Sunderland.

He said there was "no truth" he had coerced women he'd arrested into sex.

The court heard Pc Mitchell would promise to "do favours" for women in custody and would then demand sexual favours in return.

He was arrested after one of 16 women he is alleged to have assaulted went to the police.

Speaking from the witness box, he made a series of denials as he was led through the allegations by his barrister Toby Hedworth QC.

Conduct hearing

He said it had been in his interests to be as friendly as possible to the women as he would be the interviewing officer, but insisted that was as far as it went.

He told the court it was impossible for him to have carried out one of the alleged assaults in Sunderland on 13 August 2001 as he was in Glasgow.

Pc Mitchell said: "My dad was attacked on July 30, 2001 by somebody and subsequently died on August 10, 2001. And from the 9th to the 16th of August I was in Glasgow."

The court also heard Mitchell had admitted failing to meet the standards required of a police officer at a Northumbria Police conduct hearing on 17 September 2007.

The Pc, who was divorced in 2005, had called at the home of a woman he'd met while on duty, for sex.

The trial, which is entering its fourth week, continues.

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