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Four cleared over ‘copper chopper’ sex and nudity footage

Four men were charged after an officer shot footage from the South Yorkshire Police helicopter.

Two police officers and two pilots accused of using a police helicopter to film naked sunbathers and a couple having sex have been cleared of all charges amid emotional scenes.

Pilots Matthew Loosemore, 45, and Malcolm Reeves, 64, and police officers Lee Walls, 47, and Matthew Lucas, 43, appeared to be in tears as they were found not guilty of misconduct in a public office at Sheffield Crown Court.

Their families cried in the public gallery and hugged each other as the jury foreman read out the verdicts following a three-week trial.

The defendants were all in the South Yorkshire Police helicopter at various times between 2007 and 2012 when another officer, Pc Adrian Pogmore, shot the footage as the aircraft flew over the county.

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Adrian Pogmore shot the footage from the South Yorkshire Police helicopter (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)

Pogmore, 51, of Guilthwaite Crescent, Whiston, Rotherham, who was the only person in the aircraft when four offending videos were filmed, admitted four counts of misconduct in a public office.

The other men told the jury they did not know what Pogmore – described as “a swinging and sex-obsessed air observer” – was doing as he filmed the sequences using the chopper’s high-powered camera.

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Lee Walls was cleared of one count (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)

The jury of six men and six women had been shown footage shot from the aircraft, including an 11-minute sequence clearly featuring a couple having sex on their patio in a range of positions.

At one point, the naked woman waves at the helicopter.

Pogmore knew the couple through the wife-swapping scene and had even had sex with the woman.

The jury was also shown footage shot by Pogmore of a woman sunbathing naked in her large garden with her daughters, who were wearing bikinis. The jurors were also played footage of a naked couple on a campsite and another nude couple sunbathing on sun loungers in their garden.

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Matthew Lucas thanked the jury (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)

Outside the courtroom, the four men looked relieved as they were embraced by their families.

As Mr Lucas left the courtroom he said “thank you” to the jury.

The court heard he was commended for saving the life of one of the victims of the so-called Edlington incident in 2009.

This was when 10-year-old and 11-year-old brothers attacked two boys, aged nine and 11, in the South Yorkshire village, leaving them for dead.

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Malcolm Reeves was a captain in the RAF (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)

Captain Reeves and Captain Loosemore both had long military careers before they became police helicopter pilots.

The court heard that Capt Reeves was an RAF flyer and Capt Loosemore flew in the Army.

Capt Loosemore broke down at one point giving evidence in the trial as he explained how he pulled a young boy from a South Yorkshire canal after landing the helicopter, only for him to die later in hospital.

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Matthew Loosemore was an Army pilot (Dave Higgens/PA)

Capt Reeves, of Farfield Avenue, Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, was cleared of two counts of misconduct in a public office.

Mr Walls, of Southlands Way, Aston, Sheffield, was cleared of one count.

Capt Loosemore, of Briar Close, Auckley, Doncaster, was cleared of one count.

Mr Lucas, of Coppice Rise, Chapeltown, Sheffield, was cleared of three counts.

Pogmore, who has already been sacked by South Yorkshire Police, will be sentenced on Tuesday.

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