A commended police officer who acted “wholly out of character” when he flashed a pensioner on her doorstep and touched another woman’s bottom has been given a three-year community order.
Respected officer Stuart Moore, 53, was found guilty of the two offences following a trial earlier this month and today a judge heard how he had suffered psychological difficulties after being involved in a serious accident.
“Sadly you turned to drink and became dependent upon it,” said Judge David Hatton QC.
The judge said he had read voluminous documents in support of Moore’s impeccable character and he was satisfied that at the time of the offending last year he was “in a dark and lonely place”.
“It is perfectly clear to me that, these two offences aside, you have led a totally blameless life and one which has been of considerable benefit to others,” the judge told Moore.
“Not only have you served as a police officer for many years, receiving a significant number of commendations during that time, but you have clearly served the community in many other ways.
“The commission of these two offences was wholly out of character and at a time when your judgement was considerably impaired.”
Moore, who lived in Huddersfield, had denied charges of sexual assault and indecent exposure, but he was found guilty on both charges following a trial at Bradford Crown Court.
Both incidents happened while the officer was off-duty, but the elderly complainant, who is in her 80s, told the jury that Moore had been wearing a kind of “old-fashioned policeman’s cape” when he exposed himself to her.
Moore denied wearing such an item of clothing at the time and claimed that the incident had been a mistake as he tried to move on his relationship with the woman.
The complainant rejected any suggestion of a relationship and described Moore as “creepy”.
Prosecutor David McGonigal summarised the elderly woman’s victim impact statements in which she spoke about the fear she had of seeing Moore again.
She also referred to her embarrassment about having to talk about the offences and being cross-examined about the alleged relationship.
“Rightly or wrongly she feels that people are talking about her in an unpleasant way,” said Mr McGonigal.
Barrister Chloe Fairley, for Moore, said it was clear that the person he was back in October was not the person he is now or had been previously.
“It’s difficult to imagine references that display more shock at him being before the court than the ones your honour has had.” said Miss Fairley.
She said Moore had dedicated his life to working for the community as a police officer and added; ”Clearly it’s inevitable that he will no longer be able to do that and that’s quite a significant punishment in and of itself.”
Miss Fairley said Moore’s conviction meant he could not now return to the family home because of his wife’s work and he was now living in a caravan.
“It’s clear he’s somebody who is doing everything he can to put things right and that the recommendation in the pre-sentence report would be added support to him.”
As part of the three-year community order Judge Hatton imposed a rehabilitation activity requirement of up to 60 days and and he also made indefinite restraining orders which ban Moore from approaching or contacting either of the two complainants.
Moore will also have to register as a sex offender with the police for the next five years.
“You have since the autumn of last year done a great deal to rehabilitate yourself and turn yourself around again,” the judge told Moore.
“That’s to be encouraged and promoted which I hope to achieve by the sentence that I’m going to pass.
“You have been punished significantly already by the loss of a career and it seems that your family life, certainly for the present, is devastated.”