Liverpool

Steven Gerrard CCTV case: Ex-PC Helen Jones faces jail

Steven Gerrard Image copyright PA
Image caption Steven Gerrard faced "demands and threats" for money after the incident

A police officer who seized CCTV footage of a street scuffle as a "tool to blackmail" Liverpool footballer Steven Gerrard is facing jail.

Ex-PC Helen Jones obtained footage of the row involving Gerrard, by "flashing her warrant card" to the boss of a Formby bank in August last year.

Jones, 33, admitted misconduct in a public office at a previous hearing.

Preston Crown Court heard that after the CCTV was obtained by Jones Gerrard faced "demands and threats" for money.

'Practised and persistent liar'

Jones was off-duty and on a career break from Merseyside Police when she got the footage of the fight, which broke out between men in a bar in Formby and spilled out on to the street.

It was captured by a camera installed on the wall of a nearby Lloyds bank.

Jones claimed she was only helping a "friend of a friend", who had been assaulted in the incident.

However, Judge Stuart Baker did not accept this and said the defendant got the footage for "base motives" and described her as a "practised and persistent liar".

The court heard businessman Paul Lloyd, 35, who was involved in the incident, issued Gerrard with cash demands and claimed money had been offered by the press for the footage.

The judge described Mr Lloyd, 35, from Formby who claimed Gerrard and his friends assaulted him, to be an "unimpressive witness" who "chose not to tell me the whole truth".

Image copyright PA
Image caption Helen Jones was described as a "practised and persistent liar"

Mr Lloyd claimed Gerrard "threw the first punch" but the prosecution said the footballer was acting as a peacemaker.

Judge Baker said that although Gerrard had been mentioned, the proceedings were not to "determine who did what to whom" in the fight and his ruling should not be regarded as finding the player had done anything unlawful.

Jones, who has since resigned from Merseyside Police, was bailed until sentencing on 9 January but was warned there is a high likelihood she will be jailed.

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