Oxford

Jury out in police officer arson trial

Mr Trotman's car after the fire
Image caption Mr Trotman denies torching his own car

The jury in the trial of a police officer accused of framing his lover's husband for an arson attack has retired to consider its verdict.

Ch Supt Jim Trotman, of Thames Valley Police, was in a secret affair with Ian Gray's wife, Karin, when Mr Trotman's car was torched near Oxford in 2009.

Mr Gray was arrested for the crime but later released.

A jury was sent out at Swindon Crown Court. Mr Trotman, 45, of West Quay, Abingdon, denies arson.

He also denies attempting to pervert the course of justice for allowing Mr Gray to take the blame for the fire.

Mr Trotman also denies two counts of fraud by false representation.

Judge Douglas Field spent the morning summing up.

Arrest at home

Earlier prosecutors said in court that father-of-two Mr Trotman had doused his own Citroen Picasso in petrol and set fire to it after leaving it close to his lover's home in Boars Hill on 20 October 2009.

Mr Gray, who worked at London-based law firm Eversheds, was arrested at his home the next day on suspicion of conspiracy to commit arson.

During cross-examination, Mr Trotman said: "I have no reason to set him up. Their marriage was over. It was not in my interest to harm Mr Gray."

He had also told the court that hours before his car was set alight he had spoken to a senior colleague about several threatening e-mails he had received.

The e-mails reportedly showed Mr Gray had discovered the affair and had hired a private investigator.

Mr Gray was later exonerated when it emerged the e-mails sent to Mr Trotman had been sent by friends of Mrs Gray.

Jurors previously heard that suspicion fell on Mr Trotman when discrepancies in his account of events failed to match his mobile phone records.

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