Beds, Herts & Bucks

Bedfordshire police officer jailed over explicit texts

A police officer who sent explicit text messages and made heavy breathing phone calls to vulnerable women has been jailed for three years and four months.

Mark Wilkie, 51, of Leary Crescent, Newport Pagnell, near Milton Keynes, used his phone to contact a total of 12 women, Cambridge Crown Court heard.

The victims included victims of domestic abuse and teenagers as young as 15 who had been reported missing.

Wilkie admitted 12 counts of misconduct in public office from 2008 to 2010.

'Sexually obsessed'

He also admitted stealing a mobile phone which he used to harass women.

Judge Gareth Hawkesworth said Wilkie had become "sexually obsessed".

The judge said he was satisfied the former PC's obsession extended beyond the 12 women named on the indictment.

The judge added that the offences were an "appalling breach of trust" which "undermined public confidence in the police".

Prosecutor Laura Blackband said most of the victims were women Wilkie had come into contact with through his role as a PC in Leighton Buzzard.

He would either obtain their phone number legitimately when dealing with their complaints or search police databases to track them down, she added.

'Bravery commendations'

One of his first victims was a woman who advertised a wedding dress for sale in a local newspaper. He sent a series of messages, claiming his name was "Chloe".

In one he wrote: "Maybe you could model it for me," before making sexual suggestions.

Ms Blackband added: "At least 12 women received sexually explicit messages from this defendant over 18 months."

When investigators searched his work locker, they found a phone with the numbers of 50 women who may have been victims, Ms Blackband said.

Hector Maclean-Watt, in mitigation, said that Wilkie's marriage had broken down in 2004 and a subsequent four-year relationship had ended shortly before the start of the offences.

He added: "He served for nearly 30 years as a Bedfordshire Police officer and elsewhere.

"He was retired by the time these charges were brought against him.

"He received five commendations for bravery and exceptional service."

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