Shamed ex-policewoman from Telford avoids prison for ignoring crimes

A disgraced former police officer form Telford has been spared a prison sentence for "ignoring crimes".

Shamed ex-policewoman from Telford avoids prison for ignoring crimes

Among the complaints reported to Clare Stretton was a statement from a vulnerable 13-year-old who had been abused, reports of historical sex abuse, fraud and domestic violence.

But she admitted failing to properly investigate them over a seven-year period.

The 49-year-old, from Leegomery, admitted a charge of misconduct in a public office at a previous court hearing and was sentenced at Hereford Crown Court on Friday.

The former West Mercia Police officer was given an eight-month jail term – but it was suspended for a period of two years.

Charles Foulkes

Stretton, who has also been accused of having an inappropriate relationship with the father of a murder victim, was also ordered to carry out 140 hours of unpaid work.

She was sacked by the force last year after the daughters of Charles Foulkes complained about their relationship. Nick Turner, the solicitor for the Foulkes family, said the new crimes of misconduct came to light when Stretton's property was raided by officers looking for family heirlooms the daughters of Mr Foulkes believed had been gifted to her.

Detective Superintendent Gary Watson, head of professional standards for West Mercia Police, said: "Clare Stretton was dismissed from West Mercia Police in October 2015 for discreditable conduct and a breach of honesty and integrity, a clear violation of our standards and code of ethics.

"As soon as we became aware of this violation we undertook an investigation which resulted in this criminal conviction."

Stretton was accused of taking up to £100,000 from the 82-year-old over 10 years. Records showed he paid up to £15,000 directly into her bank account.

He met Stretton when she was assigned as his family's police liaison officer after his son Colin, 49, was killed by schizophrenic lodger John Latus, then 31, in 2001.

Mr Foulkes, then 82, of Church Stretton, inherited Colin's £180,000 estate. But he became infatuated with Stretton, then 37, who his family said flaunted herself to the retired painter in low-cut tops and miniskirts.

Michele Pugh, 67, Charmaine Jones, 57, and Carla Kelly, 51, lodged papers at the high court in 2014 which alleged Mr Foulkes took Stretton on trips and gave her gifts and money.

Stretton, who was based at Malinsgate Police Station, was dismissed for gross misconduct after a two-day hearing at West Mercia Police's headquarters in Hindlip, near Worcester.

Three charges against her on breaching standards of professional behaviour on honesty and integrity – including taking £15,000 from Mr Foulkes – were found proved. Mr Foulkes died in 2011 at the age of 92.

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