A former Warwickshire Police officer has insisted to a jury that he did not have a sexual relationship with a woman whose case he was working on as a staff investigator with the force.
Alan Butler, 64, who lives in the Camp Hill area of Nuneaton, has pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to two charges of misconduct in a public office.
Prosecutor Grace Ong has explained: “This case is about Mr Butler, the prosecution say, abusing his position as a public official, a police investigator.
“In doing so, the prosecution case is that he entered into a sexual relationship with one woman, and also did some inappropriate touching and had a personal relationship with [another woman]. He denies any inappropriate conduct.”
Explaining the sound of his voice as he began giving evidence, Butler said that in August 2019 he was diagnosed with inoperable throat cancer, and has undergone an intense eight weeks of radiotherapy and 3-4 days of chemotherapy.
His barrister Christopher Millington QC outlined that Butler had been a police officer for 30 years from 1975 until he retired, then re-joined the force as a police staff investigator.
He remained in that role, during which he was involved with the cases of the two women, until he was suspended in 2017 as a result of the allegations and dismissed in March this year.
Confirming that, Butler commented: “At a hearing I could not attend for medical reasons. It was a few days before I was to be made redundant.”
Butler, who said he had received commendations and many letters and emails of thanks during his service, said he had been married to his wife Jen since 1977, and they have a son who is also in the police.
He said Jen had suffered from arthritis for 10-20 years, and had suffered multiple injuries in a fall in 2017.
In relation to the first woman, who was the victim of offences which were being investigated, he said she had given a video-recorded ‘achieving best evidence’ interview which she was then shown by him and another officer.
A transcript was then prepared which he asked her to sign, and Mr Millington asked: “Did you ever make a comment about her looks, that she looked better than on the ABE?” Formally addressing his reply to the judge, he replied: “No, Your Honour.”
Butler said he then took her home because it was getting late and dark, and stayed for 10 or 15 minutes to go over what had happened with her and her brother.
He said he sat next to her on the sofa so he could face her brother while speaking to him.
It has been alleged that during that meeting Butler put his hand on her knee, which her brother said he thought was ‘terribly inappropriate in the circumstances.’
And Mr Millington asked Butler: “Did you at any time put your hand on her knee or leg?” He replied: “No, I never touch.”
Asked whether he might have done so in a casual or accidental way, he again answered: “No.”
Butler said that while he was at the home of another witness, he received two calls – one from his wife which he answered ‘Hello you,’ and one from the woman.
And he said he went to his car to continue talking to her because of the risk of ‘cross-contamination’ between witnesses.
Butler denied ever sending indecent images of himself or having been sent any indecent images by the woman.
He said that after the trial in which she had given evidence, the woman contacted him to ask for some information she needed to make a claim for compensation.
He said he was busy at the time, but a few days later ‘paid a visit’ to see her to provide her with that information.
Butler said he visited the address ‘probably between 10 and 20 times,’ and did not find her an easy person to deal with, explaining: “She was very high maintenance in the way she behaved, and would fly off the handle.”
Mr Millington asked: “On any occasion you visited did you ever kiss her?” Butler replied: “No, Your Honour.”
He was asked: “Did you have sexual intercourse with her.” He answered: “I can’t do it. No, Your Honour.”
Mr Millington: “Or any other sort of sexual activity?” And Butler responded: “No, Your Honour.”
The trial continues.