Police officer sentenced for misconduct against vulnerable women

21/10/2011

Police officer jailed for 40 months for Misconduct in a Public Office and theft.

Mark Andrew Wilkie, 51, from Leary Crescent, Newport Pagnell, in Buckinghamshire, served as a police officer for 30 years. On 23 September 2011, he pleaded guilty to 12 counts of Misconduct in a Public Office and 1 count of Theft, following a detailed investigation. On Monday 17 October 2011, he was jailed for 40 months at Cambridge Crown Court.

CPS Senior Crown Prosecutor Andrew Hudson, speaking from the St Albans office, said: 'Between May 2008 and his arrest in September 2010, Mark Wilkie used his access to police computer systems at Leighton Buzzard police station to obtain and verify contact details of women and girls that he knew to be vulnerable, some of whom he had dealt with as victims of domestic violence or as girls who had run away from home and were in social care.

'He then contacted the victims, including by using a mobile telephone that he stole from the property of an arrested person to send menacing and sexually explicit messages, running into hundreds of messages to each woman. He made it clear to some that he was watching them in their homes. His offending was both emotional and physically damaging to his victims, causing hair loss, relationship stress and obvious fear.

'Wilkie's behaviour and its effects are highly aggravated by the breach of trust placed in him as a police officer. Acts of this nature by police officers are extremely rare, but the prosecuting authorities recognise the potential for damage to the relationship between the police and the community it serves and, therefore, treat a case of this nature with the utmost seriousness.'

Sentencing Wilkie, HHJ Hawkesworth told him: 'You abused the very people you were there to protect. This was effectively terrorising vulnerable people in breach of trust.'