Cop accused of suggesting threesome tells hearing he was 'set up'

A police officer accused of propositioning a vulnerable woman for sex and suggesting she arranged a threesome has told a misconduct panel he has been “set up”.

Pc Darren Booth, 40, told a misconduct hearing that he denied ever asking the woman, known as Miss A, for sex and that he met up with her after his shift “for legitimate policing reasons”.

Giving evidence on Tuesday, Pc Booth said Miss A had told him she had information for him about counterfeit cigarette operations in Castleford, West Yorkshire.

He told the panel he now believed Miss A and her friend had “set me up to get me into trouble”.

Miss A, 36, alleges that Pc Booth had propositioned her when he was called to deal with anti-social behaviour among her group of street drinkers in Castleford town centre on March 7 2019.

She has told the hearing how she was so shocked by the officer’s suggestions that she arranged to meet him later but tipped off his colleagues at West Yorkshire Police.

Pc Booth told the panel that he agreed to go to the flat where Miss A was staying, in nearby Glasshoughton, because she said she did not want to tell him what she knew while he was in uniform with others around.

Asked how he felt when two officers arrived at the flat following Miss A’s tip-off, he said: “Shock. Why were the police there? Were they on a drugs raid?”

He said: “I didn’t know what was happening.”

Asked by Claire Watson, for West Yorkshire Police professional standards department, why he said nothing and did not explain himself to the officers, Pc Booth said: “It just looks bad that an officer is in a room with two known criminals.

“I understand that.

“But I was there for legitimate reasons.

“At that moment, everything was going through my head.”

Pc Booth said that a sergeant there advised him not to say anything.

When Ms Watson asked him whether he was in the flat to pursue a sexual relationship with Miss A, he said: “That’s not correct. I was there to get some information.”

He added: “I was doing my job.”

The officer told the panel that, with hindsight, he was “stupid” to go to the flat and said it was “the biggest mistake of my life”.

He told the hearing he was being selfish going without telling supervisors or making any record because he wanted to be the “golden boy”, bringing in important intelligence.

Miss A told the hearing on Monday that Pc Booth began flirting with her in the town centre before saying he wanted to “meet up on a regular basis to have sex”.

She said the officer then told her “and if you could get someone else involved it would be even better”, before arranging to meet her after his shift finished at 11pm.

Miss A described how she met Pc Booth in a club car park before going to the flat.

Pc Booth denies all the accusations against him.

The panel heard how he is married with children and has been a police officer for nine years and was a police community support officer for five years before that.

The hearing is being held at a police station in Wakefield with a video link for press and public at another station, seven miles away in Normanton.

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