Accused Pc 'pointed to colleague'

Former Pc Darren Jennings is on trial at the Old Bailey

Former Pc Darren Jennings is on trial at the Old Bailey

First published in National News © by

A former police constable accused of offering to sell information to the Sun about a womanising sergeant pointed the finger at another colleague after he was arrested, a court heard.

Darren Jennings is on trial at the Old Bailey accused of contacting a journalist in 2010 with claims that Sergeant Mark Andrews had a threesome with colleagues and used excessive force against two members of the public at Salisbury police station.

Jurors were told that the 41-year-old denied any wrongdoing when he was arrested in 2012 and told police he suspected a colleague who socialised with Sgt Andrews of stitching him up by passing on the "malicious information".

During a police interview read out in court, Jennings was asked if there were "quite a few people with an axe to grind" against him, and the defendant replied: "That's a fair assumption."

He explained the bad feeling towards him began after he became close to a female colleague.

To start with they just "provided each other with a shoulder to cry on" during the break-up of their marriages and categorically denied rumours of a work romance.

During that time, she had confided in him that Sgt Andrews made a pass at her and "she told him in no uncertain terms it was not going to happen", the court heard.

By 2009, they had both separated from their partners, and Jennings said: "It became common knowledge we were in a relationship and the general feeling from Mark Andrews was he was not happy."

The following year, they were living together and had "nothing to hide whatsoever", Jennings said in the interview.

But some colleagues were unhappy about them working on the same shift. On one occasion Jennings needed assistance at a road traffic accident, but his girlfriend, who was nearest to the scene, was called off going to help, he told police.

After he complained, Jennings was told he was would be posted away on the basis of 10 reports against him of which he had been unaware and had no opportunity to defend himself, jurors were told.

He carried out his own investigations into the "232 reports" and launched a grievance against Wiltshire Police.

Jennings, of Saffron Walden, Essex, said at the time he felt like he was being "targeted".

He denies a charge of committing misconduct in a public office in September 2010.

Sgt Andrews was convicted at Oxford Magistrates' Court of assault occasioning actual bodily harm but that was later quashed on appeal, the Old Bailey trial heard.

Even though emails were recovered which showed the information about Sgt Andrews was circulated between Sun journalists in 2010, no story was ever published in the newspaper.

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