Lancashire

Cases dropped after claims of Lancashire officer affair

Preston Crown Court
Image caption Gordon Head was due to go on trial on child rape charges last week

The cases against two men accused of sex offences are not going ahead after a police officer was accused of having an affair with a rape victim.

The case against Gordon Head, 32, a DJ from St Annes, Lancashire, accused of child rape, has been dropped.

Separate proceedings against Nicholas Hegarty, 35, charged with sexual assault, will not go ahead.

Prosecutors offered no evidence on both after Det Con John Cragg was arrested for misconduct in a public office.

Mr Head was due to go on trial at Preston Crown Court last week.

'Bitterly disappointed'

In a separate case Mr Hegarty, of Cleveleys, had been accused of a sex attack on a 38-year-old woman.

The case surrounding Mr Cragg's alleged affair was put on hold while the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) reviewed all the cases involving the officer who worked on a specialist rape and sexual assault inquiry team in Blackpool.

Mr Cragg resigned last month.

A CPS spokeswoman confirmed that no evidence was offered against Mr Head or Mr Hegarty in their cases at Preston Crown Court.

"The CPS carried out a further detailed review into the evidence in these cases after it recently received information about the conduct of a former police officer involved in both cases," she said.

"Following consultation with senior investigating officers and prosecution counsel we reached the decision in both cases that as a result of the impact of this information on the prosecution's case there is no longer a realistic prospect of conviction."

Head of Professional Standards for Lancashire Police, Supt Martyn Leveridge, said: "We are bitterly disappointed for everyone concerned that these two cases will not now be heard in full by a court of law.

"We fully understand the reasons why the Crown Prosecution Service have made that decision."

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