Two police officers from Colchester jailed for sabotaging child abuse investigations

10 May 2019, 16:15 | Updated: 10 May 2019, 16:28

Essex Police

Two rogue police officers from Colchester have been jailed for sabotaging child abuse investigations at a unit in north Essex where they both worked.

Former detective constables 49 year old Sharon Patterson and 47 year old Lee Pollard forged documents, concealed evidence and lied about investigations.

Jurors at the Old Bailey were given examples, including how Ms. Patterson ditched work to get a manicure and have a four-hour long lunch at a Chinese restaurant.

They also heard how when she forged a document to shut down one investigation, Mr. Pollard described her as his "deceptive partner in crime" in flirtatious emails.

The pair denied wrongdoing between 2011 and 2014, citing administrative chaos at the unit.

In March, Pollard was found guilty of two charges of misconduct in public office and Patterson was convicted of one similar offence.

Judge Nigel Lickley QC jailed Patterson for 18 months and Pollard for two years.

The convictions brought to a close a four-year corruption probe into the Essex Police unit which was undertaken by the Norfolk force and the police watchdog.

Some 30 officers, some now retired, were investigated, and 296 Essex child abuse cases looked at, of which 55 were referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

In September 2015, Pollard was dismissed for gross misconduct.

Following her conviction at the Old Bailey, Patterson was also sacked and both now risk losing their police pensions.