Northants policeman allegedly bragged he could seduce a woman in ‘10 minutes’, rape trial hears

PC Declan Gabriel is accused of raping and sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl while on duty.
PC Declan Gabriel is accused of raping and sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl while on duty.

A Northamptonshire policeman made inappropriate comments about an alleged rape victim’s breasts, asked her when she last slept with her boyfriend and bragged about his sexual escapades, a trial has heard.

PC Declan Gabriel, who was based at Mereway police station, is accused of raping and sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl while on duty on the morning of September 21, 2015.

On Tuesday Northampton Crown Court heard how the alleged victim needed to be found a place to sleep that morning after having an argument with her mother.

But Gabriel, who was driving a single-crewed vehicle at the time, is accused of driving the girl to two lay-bys in the county and sexually assaulting her.

Yesterday the alleged victim’s sister gave evidence to the court about conversations the two had on September 22, 2015.

Reading her statement out in court, prosecutor Mathew Lowe said the alleged victim was posed a series of “inappropriate” questions in the police car before the assaults took place, including being asked when she had last slept with “her boyfriend.”

Pc Gabriel also suggested he could seduce a woman in minutes.

Mr Lowe said: “He said it only takes him 10 minutes after meeting someone.

“He asked whether she would consider having sex with him.

“She said ‘what sort of question is that’?

“He said, ‘well you haven’t said no’.

“She said ‘I haven’t said yes either’.”

The court heard how he went on to ask her whether she “went out in town ever,” which the victim felt was his attempt to “level” with her.

But he then commented on her breasts and asked about her bra size before asking whether she “wanted to go to a hotel with him,” the court heard.

The sister explained how the victim became “freaked out” when Gabriel began driving towards Blisworth on the night. The prosecution case is that he then forced her to carry out a sex act in a lay-by, the court heard.

Earlier in the hearing evidence was given on how the victim had initially reported the allegations to her social worker Adam Treen, a senior practitioner for the Catch 22 service, the following day.

Mr Treen said he had been told PC Gabriel had “pulled the car over” and “forced himself” upon the victim the morning of the 21st.

When he asked her what she meant by that, Mr Treen quoted the victim as saying: “He did the worst thing possible.”

Defending for Gabriel, Stephen Evans suggested the definition of “sex” varied in the victim’s accounts made to police, her social worker and her sister.

Earlier yesterday morning the court heard from PC David Wakeman, who was duty sergeant on the night of September 21 at Mereway station.

He said he had made radio calls to Gabriel on the morning of the alleged incidents because he had been “concerned “ about the amount of time it was taking to find the girl a place to stay.

He also said on one occasion Gabriel did not pick up the receiver for around 10 seconds, which he said was “unusual.”

But Mr Evans, said that could be attributed to a number of reasons.

“That could be explained by any number of events going on,” the defence barrister said.

“We could think of 20 between us without too much trouble.”

The trial continues.