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Officer jailed over relationships

A police officer who seduced and slept with vulnerable women while on duty has been jailed for 18 months.

Ian Langford, 46, who served with West Mercia Police, struck up relationships with two women after being called to attend incidents at their homes.

Gloucester Crown Court heard married Langford would visit the women - who he was having relationships with at the same time - during his shifts.

The father-of-one's police radio was heard to go off during visits and he even called a police car to bring him back to the station, the court was told.

Langford's "totally unacceptable" actions led to a trial collapsing in court - as he was sleeping with the key prosecution witness.

He also illegally accessed police records to gain the contact details of one of his victims when she changed her phone number after their relationship ended.

Langford, of Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, admitted two charges of misconduct in a public office for the relationships, which took place in 2012 and 2013.

In 2008, Langford was docked 13 days pay by West Mercia Police for sleeping with a vulnerable women after attending her home following a domestic violence incident.

Judge Jamie Tabor QC told Langford, who was supported in court by his new wife, that his actions had brought the police service into disrepute.

"You are not a man of good character because in 2008 you were reprimanded for committing a similar, if not identical, offence with another vulnerable woman," the judge said.

"If you needed reminding that such behaviour was totally unacceptable, that incident should have deterred you.

"However, in May 2012, you met up with one victim. She was the victim of domestic violence, as had been the victim in 2008.

"She was looking for the protection of the law and the understanding of the police. You chose to seduce her when she was at her most vulnerable.

"Later, when the affair had come to an end you misused police data to discover her private phone number."

The judge said Langford met with a second victim in June 2012, when in a relationship with the first woman, following a neighbourly dispute at her home, which resulted in a trial.

"The case was compromised when it came to trial because the defendant let it be known that you were having an affair with the prosecution witness," the judge said.

"As a result, the case had to be dropped, although a restraining order was imposed. Nothing could demonstrate better why police officers have to conduct themselves in a exemplary manner.

"Both your victims feel extremely let down by the police. You targeted women when they were at their most vulnerable. You carried out the affairs while actually on duty.

"Your behaviour has brought the police service into disrepute."

The judge sentenced Langford to nine months for each count of misconduct in a public office, to run consecutively - meaning a prison term of 18 months.

The judge also made an order banning the identification of any of Langford's victims.

Prosecuting, Janine Wood said Langford met his first victim in May 2012, after being called to her home to attend a domestic violence incident.

Langford "immediately" began complimenting the woman and later contacted her on Facebook.

"She was vulnerable having suffered years of abuse from her partner, Mr Langford gave her compliments and support," Ms Wood said.

"A sexual relationship began very soon afterwards."

The relationship ended a few months later and the woman changed her phone number.

"In December 2012, the command and control logs were accessed by Mr Langford and he obtained her phone number," Ms Wood said.

"He sent her a text message minutes later."

In a victim impact statement, the woman said: "As painful as it is to look back, when I think of the mental state I was in at the time I feel sick at how the authority figure in our community took advantage of me when he should have protected me."

Langford met his second victim in June 2012 when he assisted her during a neighbourly dispute. The case was dropped at trial due to the relationship.

"He then began complimenting her inappropriately and gave her his email address and told her it was the address his wife didn't know about," Ms Wood said.

"He asked if he could kiss her and the relationship progressed. On a number of occasions she wrote in her journal and she recorded when sexual activity took place.

"That corresponded with Mr Langford's GPRS tracker on his police radio. It was while he was on duty.

"There are exchanges of text messages which talk about what happened between them and mention him having to get a police car back to the station, confirming he was on duty at the time."

The relationship ended in June 2013, when the woman discovered Langford was engaged to be married to another woman, Ms Wood said.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, the woman said: "I thought I was safe with him but he left me with an enduring belief that the old stereotype of dodgy policemen is still very much alive and kicking, especially when it comes to vulnerable women.

"My feelings are unsurprisingly more emotional, I feel rejected - why did he do this? For kicks or thrills while supposedly on police duty?"

Representing Langford, Simon Hunka said his client had joined the police force in 1989.

He said Langford had previously been married but wed his new wife following the end of his relationship with the second victim in June last year.

The relationship with his first victim ended in August 2012, when she went on holiday with her children, Mr Hunka explained.

"He is someone who has shown deep remorse and shame for his behaviour, he doesn't try to excuse it," Mr Hunka said.

"He is not someone who has set out with a specific sinister agenda."

Mr Hunka said his client, father to his 11-year-old daughter, no longer works for the police force.

"This is someone who had a long standing is the community," Mr Hunka said. "He is from a respected and respectful family and he knows he has brought shame on to that."


From Belfast Telegraph