Officer convicted after engaging in sexual activity with vulnerable woman in police vehicle

A Derbyshire Constabulary officer has been convicted of misconduct in public office after he and a colleague engaged in sexual activity in a police vehicle with a vulnerable woman after offering her a lift home.

Nov 9, 2023
By Paul Jacques
Matthew Longmate

At the end of a four-day trial at Southwark Crown Court on Wednesday (November 8), PC Matthew Longmate, 47, was found guilty of one charge of misconduct in public office.

He will be sentenced on January 15.

Earlier this year, his colleague, former PC Daniel Nash, pleaded guilty to 14 counts of misconduct in public office.

He was sentenced in August, however, due to ill-health he was handed a two-year suspended sentence but died the following month.

The outcome of those proceedings could not be reported until the conclusion of PC Longmate’s trial.

An investigation, carried out by Derbyshire Constabulary’s Counter Corruption Unit, under the direction of the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), established that, on October 4, 2015, the two officers were on a night-time patrol in Chesterfield when they came across the woman who had been drinking and had been ordered to leave a nightclub.

They offered the woman a lift home. It was while in the police vehicle that the sexual activity with PC Longmate and his colleague took place.

Commenting on former officer Nash, Deputy Chief Constable Simon Blatchly said: “As members of the police service, we promise to protect our communities – in particular those who may be vulnerable to harm.

“But instead of protecting them, Daniel Nash sought them out, and abused his position for his own sexual gain.

“There is no place in policing for his kind and I, along with my colleagues, have been sickened to learn of his crimes.

“When a report was first received relating to a complaint about Nash’s alleged conduct he was suspended from duty. He was then arrested, and an investigation took place.

“During that investigation an initial victim led officers to 14 women in total that Nash had met through his work as a police officer.

“A number of these were victims of crimes such as domestic abuse – others had been perpetrators of crimes. All were vulnerable through various personal circumstances.

“The investigation into Nash’s offending was directed by the IOPC.

“This investigation not only looked at Nash but the wider policing unit in which he was serving.

“There was no evidence found that any of his colleagues, other than one other officer, knew, or suspected, of his offending.

“The sentence that Nash received is a matter for the court, however, it is clear that had he not been in such serious ill-health that he would have served a significant term in prison.

“The crimes that Nash committed are among the most serious that can be imagined and, taken in the context of other recent incidents across the wider policing family, I understand the concern that this will cause.

“Someone like Nash has no place in policing and I, along with the staff and officers who are so appalled by his crimes, will do everything possible to find and remove anyone similar.

Regarding PC Longmate, Mr Blatchly said:  “Matthew Longmate has been found guilty of a truly horrendous crime.

“As a serving police officer he took an oath to uphold the laws of this country – and protect our communities from harm.

“In particular, officers and staff, have a particular duty to protect those who are most vulnerable.

“Longmate not only failed to protect, but actively sought to abuse his position while on patrol.

“From the evidence that was found this appears to have been a single incident and he committed his offence in collusion with former PC Nash.

“Longmate has no place in policing and, following, his guilty verdict an accelerated hearing will take place to remove him from the force.

“I am deeply shocked and angered by his actions, as I know officers and staff are across the force.

“However, I want to be clear that the independent investigation into this matter by the IOPC found no wider knowledge or offending by any other officer or staff member.”

The IOPC said it received a referral from Derbyshire Constabulary in November 2021, when the matter came to light during an investigation into PC Longmate’s colleague.

As part of the investigation, which began in November 2021, witness statements were taken, PC Longmate’s personal phone was seized and its contents downloaded and examined. The officer was also arrested and interviewed twice.

IOPC Director of Major Investigations Steve Noonan said: “PC Longmate targeted a lone woman who was in a vulnerable position in a town centre late at night. She should have felt safe in this situation but instead he and his colleague abused their position as police officers in a way that is a complete betrayal of the public trust placed in them.

“Police officers who abuse their power for sexual gain not only discredit their profession but breach the public’s trust and seriously undermines confidence in the police service.

“I recognise how difficult it must have been for the woman in this case to come forward and I want to thank her for providing evidence to the investigation and helping to ensure that PC Longmate has been held accountable.”

THe IOPC said Derbyshire Constabulary has agreed that PC Longmate also has a case to answer for gross misconduct for potentially breaching police standards of professional behaviour. It will now be for the force to take forward disciplinary proceedings.

In May 2022, at the end of the investigation, the IOPC decided the matter should be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service, which authorised the charge of misconduct in public office.

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