Policeman who pulled down woman's top and photographed her is jailed
Married police officer, 46, who pulled down 18-year-old woman’s top and photographed her breasts on Wetherspoons night out is jailed for eight months
- Paul Hinchcliffe, 46, photographed her breasts while making ‘orgasm noises’
- He later sent the victim a series of WhatsApp messages and said ‘God I’d do you’
A married police officer who pulled down a young woman’s top and photographed her breasts on a night out has been jailed for eight months.
Father-of-four Paul Hinchcliffe, 46, was sent to prison on Friday for sexually assaulting an 18-year-old woman at a Whetherspoons pub in Wath upon Dearne, South Yorkshire, in October 2020.
Hinchcliffe, who was an officer with South Yorkshire Police, pulled open the woman’s top and ‘photographed her breasts’ while making ‘orgasm noises’ before sending the image to a colleague, Leeds Crown Court heard.
He later sent the woman, who lived with her parents and was ‘reduced to tears’, WhatsApp messages accompanied by ‘masturbating emojis’ and said ‘God I’d do you, is that bad?’.
Judge Robin Mairs said Hinchcliffe’s behaviour betrayed police officers who do a ‘decent, committed job’ and makes women ‘mistrustful of the police force’.
Paul Hinchcliffe (pictured), 46, was sent to prison on Friday for sexually assaulting an 18-year-old woman at a Whetherspoons pub in Wath upon Dearne, South Yorkshire, in October 2020
Hinchcliffe, who was an officer with South Yorkshire Police, pulled open the woman’s top and ‘photographed her breasts’ while making ‘orgasm noises’ before sending the image to a colleague, Leeds Crown Court heard. Pictured: The Church House Whetherspoons pub in Wath upon Dearne, South Yorkshire
The judge told Hinchcliffe how he took a photograph of the young woman wearing her glasses and showed everyone else, saying: ‘I’m going to have a w*** to that tonight.’
He then started flicking beer foam at her chest in what the judge decided was him simulating semen, the court heard.
At another point in the evening, Hinchcliffe heard his victim mention she wanted to have breast enhancements because she had the ‘breasts of a 12-year-old’ to which he commented she had the ‘bum of a 12-year-old’.
The 18-year-old said in an impact statement: ‘All my trust for the police just went. I used to feel safe when I saw police officers.I never think that now.
‘He sexually assaulted me when he should’ve been in a role that protects people.’
The jury also heard a police interview where the woman said she had chosen to go ahead with a ‘boob job’ knowing the photo of her chest was ‘circulating’.
She said: ‘I was like so conscious of obviously the fact that people have been viewing a photo. To know there was a photo, that’s obviously kicked me into doing that so soon.
‘I’d had a telephone appointment but I think I ended up getting a car on finance instead so it just got put to bed because I couldn’t afford it.
‘It’s something I have always been self-conscious about but I think after this and knowing that there was a photo circulating – it’s quite embarrassing – I think that encouraged me more to have it so soon.’
The judge told Hinchcliffe how he took a photograph of the young woman wearing her glasses and showed everyone else, saying: ‘I’m going to have a w*** to that tonight’
Katherine Pierpoint, defending Hinchcliffe, said he was a ‘family man’ and had received glowing character statements from former colleagues.
She said: ‘He was an officer for 20 years. He was extremely well-viewed by friends and colleagues. This is behaviour that they are extremely shocked about.
‘He has resigned from the police force, a job he was good at. It was something he had wanted to do for a very long period of time, and he’s a family man, supported by his wife and his four children. He knows his behaviour was out of order.’
However, Judge Mairs said in his sentencing remarks that he had no choice but to hand Hinchcliffe an immediate jail term.
He said: ‘In the circumstances of this case, and for the reasons I have just set out, sexual offences committed by police officers, recorded, disseminated to others, are offences where the only appropriate punishment can be achieved by immediate custody.’
He was also ordered to join the sex offenders register for ten years.
South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Lauren Poultney said on Friday: ‘This case demonstrates that wrongdoing and poor standards will not be tolerated in South Yorkshire Police.
‘Whether our officers and staff are on duty or not, the public rightly expect us to portray the true values of policing at all times and this former officer fell woefully below these expectations.
‘I am mindful this hearing follows the release of the Casey report last week and wish to assure our communities that here in South Yorkshire Police we are doing absolutely everything we can to root out those who are not fit to represent your force.’
She added: ‘Force standards and culture continue to be my top priority and when wrongdoing and poor standards are identified, the perpetrators will be dealt with swiftly and robustly.’
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