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Married police officer 'raped teenage call girl he had an affair with'

Published 14/09/2015

Sergeant Peter Lower is alleged to have punched and kicked a teenage call girl before sexually assaulting and raping her
Sergeant Peter Lower is alleged to have punched and kicked a teenage call girl before sexually assaulting and raping her

A married police officer embarked on an affair with a teenage call girl that culminated in repeated rapes, a court heard.

Sergeant Peter Lower, 52, is alleged to have punched and kicked the alleged victim before sexually assaulting and raping her.

In one alleged incident in a hotel room Lower - a married father - is said to have put a pillow case over her head, tied a dressing gown cord around her hands and led her to the shower where he drenched her in water.

On another occasion Lower is accused of throttling the woman until she passed out.

Bristol Crown Court heard that the alleged victim had wanted to join the police and was first contacted by Lower via email.

He told her he could not afford to pay her but would instead help her complete her application forms to join the force.

Prosecutor Peter Coombe explained to the jury that the woman first complained to the police in 2014 about the defendant and made allegations about events in 2009.

"She alleged that the defendant had physically and sexually assaulted her when they were in a relationship," Mr Coombe said.

"She was 19 turning 20 years of age and at that time the defendant was 46 and he was a serving police sergeant.

"After the last assault the two of them continued to communicate and they must have met on occasions.

"When she was 19 she was an escort girl and the defendant contacted her by email. He said he could not afford to pay her.

"She had wanted to join the police service and in return for her services he would help her with her application form.

"Unfortunately she did not get through but she was utterly besotted with the defendant and after she was turned down by the regular police she became a special constable for a short time."

Mr Coombe said the woman would describe a "quite turbulent relationship".

"She was jealous because the defendant was married and had children," Mr Coombe said.

"She was jealous of his wife and he was still in a relationship with his wife and as I told you she had become quite besotted with him.

"She would tell him about other men she was seeing and that would anger him.

"She would say 'If you're seeing your wife why can't I see other men?'"

Mr Coombe described another alleged incident that is said to have happened in a Bristol hotel room which saw them argue and Lower threaten to throw an expensive pair of her shoes out of a window.

"The defendant pushed her into the bed and told her she was a bitch. He undid her trousers and took off her underwear," he said.

"She was telling him to get off."

Lower is then alleged to have raped her.

Describing the incident with the shower, Mr Coombe said: "The defendant remarked that she liked it rough and put a pillow case over her head, tied her hands behind her back with the cord from his dressing gown and led her to the shower.

"He made remarks that he was texting another man and turned on the shower. She was worried she wouldn't be able to breath with the wet pillow case over her head."

He then took her back to the bedroom and untied her, telling her he was sorry and crying, the prosecutor said.

Lower's wife found out and their contact slowed but they continued to have incremental contact over the years that followed.

The alleged victim told police she had made up two men - called Greg and Tom - to try and make Lower jealous.

"She admitted she wanted him to leave his wife and she wanted him to be rough during sex," Mr Coombe said.

"She remarked that the defendant had remarked to her that it's not the first time he had raped someone and for a while he pretended to her that he had raped his wife but he later admitted he had made that up."

Lower, of Hill Path, Banwell, North Somerset, denies three charges of rape, three charges of assault by penetration, one charge of sexual assault, four charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and a single charge of false imprisonment.

The trial continues.

The jury was shown extracts of emails between Lower and the woman following the alleged events he is on trial for.

In one email, Lower tells her: "I can't say 100% I would not hit or slap you, as for rape, no.

"I felt belittled. I just saw red mist. I just wanted you to have the roughest sex. Vile, evil.

"How can you want to be with anyone who's that vile? Jesus, I would get six years for that, I don't know what else to say."

In another email, Lower wrote: "You have enough to send me to prison where I will get raped, suck loads of cock, get beaten up and get boiling water poured over me."

When Lower was arrested and interviewed by detectives he denied raping the woman and said he felt "compelled" to have rough sex with her because she "had that with other men".

He said the incident in the hotel shower did not happen but instead described a sex game with a pillow case. Lower also denied incidents where he is alleged to have hit her and sexually assaulted her.

Mr Coombe said: "You have a complainant who is much younger than the defendant. At the time of these allegations he was 46 and she was 19.

"The defendant is middle-aged, holding a position of responsibility as a police sergeant, and he was presented with a vulnerable teenage girl and the prosecution say he took full advantage of her."

The trial was adjourned until Tuesday.

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