Cambridgeshire Police detective Matthew Swash 'kissed junior officers'

Matthew Swash Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Matthew Swash is accused of "exploiting" junior female colleagues

A detective sergeant accused of sex assaults kissed, touched and stroked junior officers and "checked out" female crime victims, a jury heard.

Matthew Swash, 40, of Cambridgeshire Police, denies 12 sex offence charges against four colleagues and a victim.

St Albans Crown Court heard he is also accused of accessing force databases to contact crime victims, visit them and send them inappropriate text messages.

The jury was told he "exploited his position". The trial continues.

Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Prosecutors said the 40-year-old was addicted to sexual and romantic intrigue

Mr Swash, of Crown Close, March, began working for Cambridgeshire Police in 1996 and was made a detective sergeant in 2001.

The offences were allegedly committed between December 2009 and September last year.

'Jekyll and Hyde' character

As well as the sex assault charges, he is accused of two counts of misconduct in a judicial or public office, in relation to contacting female crime victims.

Opening the case, prosecutor Peter Shaw said: "He exploited his position as a police officer to commit sexual offences against women officers.

"It is no coincidence that all of the officers he assaulted were junior to him in rank.

"This was not a cast-iron method of ensuring complete impunity, of course, but it meant that those officers were much less likely to 'rock the boat' by accusing a more senior and popular officer of such things."

He told the jury of seven men and five women that Mr Swash had a "Jekyll and Hyde" character and was addicted to sexual and romantic intrigue.

Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption The trial at St Albans Crown Court continues

"The assaults in the main consisted of him kissing the victims, sometimes very forcefully, and sometimes pushing his body against theirs where it was apparent he had an erection," said Mr Shaw.

"None of these were harmless or trivial acts. They invariably left the recipients feeling upset, and perplexed as to how they were to deal with the situation of a senior officer acting in such a way."

The trial continues.

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