Essex

Essex policeman 'kissed woman' while driving her home

Clacton Police Station Image copyright Google
Image caption PC Neil Culham is said to have groped the woman at Clacton Police Station

A policeman touched a woman's thigh and kissed her while driving her home from a police station, a court has heard.

PC Neil Culham, 42, is accused of touching the woman, who cannot be named, after she was arrested in Clacton, Essex, in 2012.

She said he also forced her to touch him in the groin area when she answered bail at the police station two months later.

Mr Culham, of Ardleigh Road, Dedham, denies both charges.

He was working for Essex Police when the woman was arrested on suspicion of harassing her former partner.

'Calm down'

Ipswich Crown Court heard how Mr Culham drove her from Clacton Police Station to her home in the town, after she had been questioned.

Image caption Defence lawyer Allan Compton told Ipswich Crown Court Neil Culham had acted appropriately

The woman said he pulled over on the way and kissed her, and then tried again as they approached her home.

"As we came to a stop he still had his hand on my thigh," she said in a statement read to the court.

"When he came to a stop he kissed me."

When the woman returned to the police station to answer bail she was warned over the harassment of her former partner.

While in a side room at the station, the woman said Mr Culham put her hand over his genitals and said: "Look what you've done to me."

She said she asked to leave, but was told by Mr Culham she had to put her tongue down his throat.

As she got up to go towards the door, the woman said Mr Culham put his right hand between her legs.

Defence lawyer Allan Compton disputed her version of events.

He suggested she had been emotional on the drive home from the police station, and Mr Culham had put his hand on her arm and told her to "calm down".

Mr Compton said nothing untoward happened at the police station.

The trial continues.

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