Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Police Officer A Serial Rapist?

JOHN ROBERTSON
LAW CORRESPONDENT

A POLICEMAN swore under oath yesterday that he was not a serial rapist and sex offender.

Dean Stewart, 35, is alleged to have attacked nine women in Ayrshire over six years, but he told a jury there was no truth at all in any of the allegations. Stewart insisted at the High Court in Glasgow that he had no idea why women had made claims against him.

The Strathclyde Police constable denies a total of 13 charges, three of rape and ten of indecent assault, between 1998 and 2004, while he served in stations in Kilbirnie, Saltcoats and Irvine.

His counsel, Edgar Prais, QC, put it to Stewart that allegations had been made against him by nine women. Mr Prais asked: "Is there any truth at all in any of the allegations?"

Stewart replied: "None at all."

"Have you had any kind of sexual contact with any of them?" continued Mr Prais.

"Yes, one," said Stewart, naming one of the alleged rape victims who, he has stated in a special defence, consented to sex with him in her home in February last year.

The first attack, according to the prosecution, occurred in Kilbirnie when Stewart is said to have found a woman in a drunken condition and to have driven her to quiet spot. It is alleged that he raped her in his police vehicle. Stewart said he knew the woman, mainly through calling at her home to see her sons who were often in trouble.

He maintained that there was "not a morsel" of truth in her claim of rape. Asked why he thought she had made the allegation, he said: "My honest answer is I do not know."

In another charge, Stewart allegedly used his baton to indecently assault a woman, an informant, in a police van.

He said she had asked to have a look at the baton and then began to pretend it was a vibrator. He had chastised her and had taken back the baton and, making light of the incident, told her: "There's a time and a place for that sort of thing."

He said he had no idea why two women had claimed that he fondled them in cells in Kilbirnie police station when they were brought in "half comatose".

He is due to continue his evidence when the trial resumes today.

www.news.scotsman.com

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