September 16, 2021, 18:20

    Police officer admits having sex with domestic abuse victim he was looking after

    Police officer admits having sex with domestic abuse victim he was looking after

    A police officer is facing jail after he admitted having sex with a vulnerable domestic abuse victim he was assigned to look after.

    Pc James Ankrett, of West Midlands Police, began a relationship with the woman after being assigned to help her following an assault, a court heard.

    The disgraced officer, 40, admitted misconduct in a public office and improper exercise of police powers on the second day of his trial on Tuesday.

    Ankrett spoke only to enter his guilty plea during the 10-minute hearing at Wolverhampton crown court.

    The maximum sentence for misconduct in public office and improper exercise of police powers is life in prison.

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    Ankrett faces jail after pleading guilty


    The wording of the charges Ankrett pleaded guilty to are: “Pursuing personal contact with the woman in order to form a personal and sexual relationship facilitated by the use of police resources and during designated tours of duty when he knew or ought to have known it was improper.”

    The court was told that the officer was instructed to look after the woman while serving with West Midlands Police and began a relationship with her in July 2017, which lasted until May 2018.

    He was later charged following an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

    Ankrett, of Hednesford, Staffs., has been bailed and was ordered to return to court for sentencing on October 18.

    Judge Recorder Millington QC told the jury: “No doubt that has all taken you by surprise.

    The case was heard at Wolverhampton crown court


    "And there have been ongoing discussions about this case this morning which explains the delay in you coming into court.

    “It is not uncommon for a defendant to reconsider his position in relation to a criminal charge even as late as this on what was to be the first day of the trial and he has done so and pleaded guilty.

    “Your task in coming to this trial was to determine whether the defendant was guilty or not guilty of this charge and you have heard from him he is guilty, so am I afraid we no longer need your services to determine that particular issue so I am going to apologise for what happened but I hope that explains why it is you have been kept waiting this morning.

    “In relation to the sentencing, this isn’t an appropriate venue so I am minded to adjourn sentencing in this case.

    “I will request the probation service to prepare a pre-sentence report and re-admit the defendant to bail.

    “I am sure he understands that in admitting him to bail I am making any promises as to the eventual outcome.

    “He should expect to receive a sentence of imprisonment at the forthcoming hearing and needs to put his house in order, so to speak.”

    Following the plea, West Midlands Police said the officer had now been suspended from duties pending an internal investigation.

    Deputy Chief Constable Vanessa Jardine said: “The actions of PC Ankrett have undermined the very essence of our force’s core value of protecting the public and helping those in need.

    “He used his position to conduct a wholly inappropriate relationship and has significantly damaged the reputation of the force.

    “He will now face an internal disciplinary process.”

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