Sergeant Lee Cocking is on trial for misconduct in public office
A woman who allegedly had sex with an acting police inspector in a car denied she told him to ‘man up’ as he took her home following a drunken night out.
Sergeant Lee Cocking is on trial for misconduct in public office at Gloucester Crown Court, following the alleged events of a night in December 2017.
Jurors have heard that a woman, aged 30 at the time, had been on a night out at the Skinny Dippers bar in Weston-Super-Mare and got so drunk that she was told to leave.
She was spoken to by a female police officer before Sgt Cocking – an acting inspector that night – turned up at 3.10am in an unmarked silver Vauxhall Astra police car, the court heard.
Sgt Cocking, who was wearing full uniform, body armour, and was carrying a police radio, managed to calm her down and then offered to take her home because he feared she was vulnerable in her drunken state, jurors were told.
The woman told the court she was very drunk at the time of the incident and her memory of what happened was not complete, but she knew they definitely had sex in his car.
But married Sgt Cocking, of Cheddar, Somerset, claims that he did not willingly have sex with the woman, and that she had pulled down her jeans and knickers, unzipped his flies and was ‘straddling’ him in the driving seat.
Ray Tully QC, defending Sgt Cocking, suggested that the woman had straddled the officer and ‘told him to ”man up” and be a man to have sex with you’.
Jurors have heard that a woman, aged 30 at the time, had been on a night out at the Skinny Dippers bar in Weston-Super-Mare and got so drunk that she was told to leave
He suggested to the woman that as they arrived at Knightstone Island in Weston Super Mare he slowed the vehicle down because she had said she wanted to be dropped off there.
‘You then told Sgt Cocking to keep driving until you got to the old toll road, when you told him to stop?’ Mr Tully asked.
‘I don’t remember that,’ she replied. ‘I wouldn’t have said anything about wanting sex with him.’
Mr Tully continued: ‘You lowered your jeans to the top of your thighs. You were manipulating him to your own end. You demanded to have sex with him as you already had your jeans down by your ankles?’
She denied this and added: ‘Even though I was drunk, Sgt Cocking could have told me to get out of the car. I remember kissing Sgt Cocking, he didn’t ask me to stop, but I did pull back when his radio went off.
‘His radio was definitely on his chest up until the old toll road because I remember him telling me to be quiet when it went off. Everything happened at the old toll road.’
The woman was spoken to by a female police officer before Sgt Cocking – an acting inspector that night – turned up at 3.10am in an unmarked silver Vauxhall Astra police car, the court heard
Mr Tully continued: ‘You directed Sgt Cocking to a farm gate 200 metres up the road. You then wedged yourself between the steering wheel and Sgt Cocking with your leg beside the door.
‘You straddled him and you told him to ”man up” and be a man to have sex with you.’
Mr Tully suggested to the court that the woman then attempted to have sex with the officer.
The woman responded: ‘That’s not true. I only recall that we stopped in the toll road. I didn’t know we stopped again in a different place.’
The woman explained that she suffered from a friction burn on her skin while attempting to have sex in the car and added: ‘All I can remember is that we were struggling in the car.
‘He was in the driver’s seat and I sat on top of him with my back against the steering wheel. My leg was beside the door and we got out to have sex. It was in complete darkness.
‘I recall being in the driver’s door opening, facing over the vehicle, with Sgt Cocking behind me. I think we had sex that way, but I cannot actually remember.’
The woman added: ‘I am certain about what happened in the bits that I do remember. But I do recall him telling me not to tell anybody as he would lose his job.’
Mr Tully said that the woman eventually got back into the passenger seat and told Sgt Cocking to take her home.
The woman said she now wishes she had never phoned the police, adding: ‘It has caused so much hassle.
‘I felt for him as he did tell me not to say anything. Nothing bad happened to me, I wasn’t raped.
‘When the police knocked on my door I wasn’t really interested in being part of their investigation. I didn’t want my family to find out. After a while I just wanted it to go away. All I wanted to do was tell the truth.
‘I had never been this drunk before.’
Sgt Cocking has pleaded not guilty to misconduct in a judicial or public office by wilfully misconducting himself in such a way as to amount to an abuse of public office.
Mr Tully concluded that Sgt Cocking felt that he had been the victim of a sexual assault himself and not the other way around.
The trial continues.