Shropshire Star

Jury retires in trial of police officer accused of rape

David Stansbury has denied raping a woman at her home in Plymouth.

David Stansbury

A jury has retired to consider verdicts in the trial of a police officer accused of raping a woman following an attempted burglary at her home.

David Stansbury, 43, is alleged to have abused his position of trust as a serving police officer and sexually assaulted a woman at her home in Plymouth, Devon.

Stansbury, of Ilminster, Somerset, has pleaded not guilty to three counts of rape between October 23 and November 30 2009.

Bristol Crown Court has heard that Stansbury, who was an officer with Devon and Cornwall Police at the time, had been called to the woman’s address and took her statement after a suspect had tried to smash her door in.

The alleged victim said she believes the first of three assaults started within days of her original 999 call, when she was drunk and had drugs in her home.

He spotted that she had drugs in the house, told her that she should not be doing that and told her “I’m the law” before he raped her, she claimed.

David Stansbury court case
Police Sergeant David Stansbury arriving at Bristol Crown Court (Ben Birchall/PA Images)

The allegations against Stansbury only came to light when the woman was in the back of a police van after being arrested at a disturbance in 2020 and told the officers she had been assaulted.

She told the officers she did not go to the police earlier because she was afraid that as a drug and alcohol user her family would be taken away.

Stansbury told the court that he did not rape the woman and said he does not remember her or the attempted break-in at her home.

The prosecution barrister, Virginia Cornwall, accused Stansbury of having an “unusual interest” in the alleged victim, having accessed her personal records on a number of occasions after the incident at her home, including after he had passed the case on to another officer and he had gone on holiday.

She also said GPS data suggested he had returned to the complainant’s street multiple times, which differed from his previous route.

He said that he may have been on the alleged victim’s street more following the domestic incident to “provide reassurance” to her and the community through an increased police presence.

He also said that looking at logs related to her would have been “necessary for the job” he was doing at the time and was probably checking cases he had dealt with before he went on holiday.

The court also heard that the alleged victim believed Stansbury had a birthmark or tattoo on the inside of his leg.

Stansbury said this was not the case and he had shown the interviewing officer in 2020 that he did not have one.

Judge William Hart sent the jury out to consider their verdicts in the case on Tuesday afternoon.

The trial continues.

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