Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Police officer abused position to get cctv of wife having affair

A POLICE officer whose wife was having an affair with his best friend abused his position to get CCTV footage to spy on the lovers.

PC Andy Liptrott posed as a CID officer to get tapes from a bar and nightclub to see if wife Karen had lied about going out with friends.

The Accrington crime prevention officer also accessed the confidential police computer system to check up on his former friend, Darren Watson, Preston Crown Court heard.

Liptrott then threw his naked wife into the street so "the whole world could see what a dirty person she was" before physically attacking her, the court was told.

The 47-year-old has admitted seven counts of misconduct in a public office but denies three charges of actual bodily harm against his wife, for which he now stands trial.

Prosecuting, Peter Davies told how the couple had been married for six years and had two children. Mrs Liptrott worked as a BA air stewardess and was often away on long haul flights.

Mr Davies said: "To all outward appearances, they were a happy and successful family. Those appearances sadly belied the truth.”

The court was told how Liptrott, of Todd Lane North, Lostock Hall, initiailly discovered the extra marital affair after installing computer software that let him access his wife’s text messages.

Mr Davies said he had also found a message on her mobile phone where she told a friend she did not love her husband anymore.

“Angered by this the defendant confronted her in the kitchen,” Mr Davies said. “He grabbed her with both hands on to her forearms and then pushed her backwards with considerable force. She slipped on the floor and banged her back.”

The court heard that Liptrott then became suspicious that a girls’ night out had been a cover for a secret tryst between the lovers.

He visited Apple Jacks Nightclub and Henry Tate bar in Chorley on February 26 last year to tell staff he was investigating an ongoing case and would need to take their CCTV footage. Liptrott later confronted his wife and they decided to work through their problems.

Mr Davies said: "He became obsessed about the affair and he was determined to find out as much as he could. He started to use the police comptuter at work."

On March 18, Liptrott questioned his wife about her trip to Chorley.

Mr Davies said: "When she told him facts she had not mentioned before, the defendant flew into a rage”.

The jury was told that Mrs Liptrott was twice manhandled out of her own home. On the second occasion, Liptrott removed her dressing gown and dragged her out by her ankles, leaving her naked in the street.

After being let back in, she was swung around, by her hair and struck on the head, the proesecution said.

Six days later, following another attack where she was pushed to the floor, Mrs Liptrott took her sons and fled to her parents’ home in Morecambe.

In interview, Liptrott said that his wife had started to take tablets and drugs, and had become violent towards him.

He said his wife had either attacked him, had fallen, or had sustained her bruises bumping into things on her plane trips.

Mr Davies said: "The prosecution’s case is not that he set out to injure her, but that he was a man who lost control, through his obsession with his wife.”

Under cross examination, Mrs Liptrott denied ever being violent towards her husband.

Defending RIchard Holland put it to Mrs Liptrott that she had received her injuries from Ann Summers handcuffs used consensually with her husband or through rough and tumble activities with her son.