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Policewoman Flirts With Driver
A female Met Police officer's been cleared of trying to let off an uninsured driver she exchanged flirty messages with.
Pc Saheena Tegally, 26, swapped numbers with Richard Myerson after she pulled him over in his Porsche for an insurance check, London's Wood Green Crown Court heard.
They sent texts and emails to each other, including one in which Mr Myerson suggested the Metropolitan Police officer should sit at her desk in her underwear after she complained about the heat, the jury was told.
In another message, the court heard the West Hampstead-based officer told Mr Myerson "It's really hot. I'm in my bikini catching the sun."
Prosecutors claimed Tegally falsely told other officers that Mr Myerson had been covered when he was stopped because he was flirting with her and asked her out on a date.
But she denied perverting the course of justice, telling her trial that the messages the couple swapped were just "banter" and she never had any intention of meeting him on a date.
The jury of eight women and four men unanimously found Tegally not guilty of perverting the course of justice today, less than two hours after they retired to consider their verdicts.
Wearing a black blazer, pink top and black skirt, Tegally, of London Colney, Hertfordshire, broke down in tears in the dock and hugged members of her family after leaving the courtroom.
Following the verdict, Tegally said: "I'm just pleased. I just want to go home."
Her mother added: "She needs to rest, it's been a tough year."
During the trial, Tegally said that at the time of the alleged offence in July last year she had just broken off a relationship, during which she had undergone an abortion.
The court heard the officer sent Mr Myerson a text saying "far too hot to be stuck in uniform", to which he replied "you could sit behind your desk in your underwear, then people will take bad news much easier".
She admitted she had been "flattered" by the attention after the court heard she sent a text to a friend, saying she had "seized a Porsche off a 25-year-old, he is minted and has asked to take me out".
During cross-examination, Tegally said: "It was flattering, yes it was. But that doesn't for one minute mean I was going to meet up with him or go for a drink.
"It was never my plan to go with him."
She told the jury she had still been in love with her ex-partner at the time, and still was, so would not have met up with Mr Myerson.
Tegally admitted that she helped Mr Myerson receive insurance documents and was sent via email documents showing he had not been insured but claimed she did not read them closely and initially assumed he was covered.
She told the court it was just a mistake on her part and that she had never told her superiors definitively that he had been legally driving, only telling them it "looked like" he was.
She also denied a prosecution claim that she deliberately deleted emails relating to the case.
She said she created a proper "paper trail" but the emails may have been lost after she deleted a large number from her account simultaneously without checking them, following a warning about not having enough space.
She added: "Although I was going through a bad time, I worked hard to become a police officer.
"I was struggling but it was, and still is, my life."
Tegally, who joined the Met as a community support officer in 2007, was suspended by the force pending the outcome of the trial.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said Tegally remained suspended pending the outcome of a misconduct review hearing.
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