Former Cleveland Police officer denies joining service to target sex attack victims
A former police officer accused of sexual offences against young women denied he joined the force to target victims.
David Waller is on trial at Teesside Crown Court accused of 11 offences relating to sexual assault.
Prosecutor Matthew Bean told a jury Waller came into contact with his alleged victims as a result of his involvement in a number of hobby groups in the region, and as a result of him being a Cleveland Police officer between 2006 and 2010.
There is a charge of misconduct in public office,” said Mr Bean.
“The allegation is at a time when he was a serving officer, Mr Waller improperly began a sexual relationship with a female after she had reported a crime to Cleveland Police."
Giving evidence in his own defence, Waller said he joined the police after twice failing to join the RAF as a pilot due to his eyesight.
"After that I worked in the tax office for a couple of years while I thought about which way my life was going,” said Waller.
"I passed a national assessment with Durham Police, but joined Cleveland Police because I didn't fancy the travelling."
Waller was asked by Nick Lumley QC, if he had joined the police to gain access to women.
"Absolutely not," said Waller. "I've always had an ethos of helping people."
The court heard Waller had also been a member of theatre groups.
Mr Lumley asked Waller if he had joined the groups to gain access to women.
"I did not," said Waller. "My interest in performing and the theatre goes back to when I was 13-years-old."
Waller, 34, of Eastleigh, Thornaby, faces three charges of inciting an underage girl to take part in sexual activity, three charges of meeting or attempting to meet a girl following sexual grooming, two charges of indecent assault of a child, one charge of sexual assault, one charge of rape, and one charge of misconduct in public office.
Two charges of rape relating to a single victim have been withdrawn from consideration by the jury following legal submissions by Mr Lumley.
The charges, all of which are denied, relate to seven victims.