Oxford

Police force duped by conman posing as solicitor

A police force has reviewed security after a man claiming to be a solicitor tricked his way into a cell.

James Mangan, 40, duped Thames Valley Police officers into taking him to visit friend Keith Bailey at Abingdon police station in Oxfordshire.

He later visited a domestic violence complainant in a bid to persuade her to drop charges against Mr Bailey.

He admitted attempting to pervert the course of justice and was jailed for seven months at Oxford Crown Court.

'Extremely seriously'

Ch Insp Phil Murphy said: "Thames Valley Police conducted a full review of how this security breach happened and additional training and guidance has been given to all staff in our custody suites and on our front counters.

"We take any breach of security extremely seriously and have taken every step possible to ensure this does not happen again."

The officers, who initially failed to ask Mangan for proof of identity, issued him with a pass then led him to the cell on 4 August, last year, the court heard.

Mangan, of Blue Mountains, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, was only escorted from the police station when officers asked for identification after realising Bailey had not requested legal representation.

Mangan then visited a witness at her home and pressured her in a bid to get her to drop domestic violence charges against Mr Bailey.

Mr Bailey was later acquitted of committing violence against the alleged victim following a trial at Oxford Magistrates' Court in January.

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