Police officer found not guilty of raping woman after 999 call

April 03, 2024

A police officer has been found not guilty of raping a woman at her home.

David Stansbury, 43, who denied three counts of rape, was acquitted by a unanimous jury following a three-week trial at Bristol Crown Court.

Sergeant Stansbury, of Ilminster, Somerset, had been accused of sexually assaulting the woman between 23 October and 30 November 2009 in Plymouth, Devon.

He was found not guilty of the charges on Wednesday after a jury deliberated for almost seven hours.

Sgt Stansbury, who worked as a Devon and Cornwall Police officer between 2009 and 2011 and now serves with Hertfordshire Police, was emotional as he left the courtroom.

Judge William Hart said: "Mr Stansbury you are discharged, you are free to leave the dock."

The judge thanked the jury for their time and called it a "demanding and tense trial for everybody concerned".

Bristol Crown Court had heard that Sgt Stansbury had been called to the woman's address and took her statement after a suspect had tried to smash her door in. The police officer was accused of returning later to rape her.

The allegations against Sgt Stansbury were made more than 10 years later when the woman was in the back of a police van after being arrested at a disturbance in 2020.

'Completely ruined my life'

Sgt Stansbury's accuser told 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.

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

During his evidence to the court, he said his accuser had "told a complete lie that's completely ruined my life".

Jim Pearce, assistant chief constable at Devon and Cornwall Police, said: "We note the verdicts from the court today and the acquittal of David Stansbury following reports of rape.

"We do not underestimate how difficult this matter has been for all of those involved in this case."

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