Police officer, 40, faces jail after having sex with a vulnerable domestic abuse victim he was tasked with helping
- James Ankrett, 40, of Staffordshire, began a relationship with the woman in 2017
- Court heard the relationship lasted ten months before it ended in May 2018
- He admits misconduct in a public office and improper exercise of police powers
- Judge today warned the disgraced officer to expect a prison sentence
PC James Ankrett was today warned to expect a jail sentence after admitting to having sex with a vulnerable domestic abuse victim he was supposed to be looking after
A police officer is facing jail after today admitting to having sex with a vulnerable domestic abuse victim he was supposed to be looking after.
PC James Ankrett, 40, began a relationship with the woman after being assigned to help her following an assault in 2017.
The disgraced officer admitted misconduct in a public office and improper exercise of police powers on the second day of his trial today.
Wolverhampton Crown Court heard Ankrett was serving with West Midlands Police when he struck up a relationship with the complainant.
The court heard he began a sexual relationship with her on July 7, 2017, which lasted until May 5, 2018.
Ankrett, of Hednesford, Staffordshire, was charged following an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
He today pleaded guilty to ‘pursuing personal contact with the woman in order to form a personal and sexual relationship facilitated by the use of police resources and during designated tours of duty when he knew or ought to have known it was improper’.
The judge warned Ankrett he could expect to be jailed.
Ankrett spoke only to enter his guilty plea during the ten-minute hearing.
Judge Recorder Christopher Millington QC told the jury: ‘No doubt that has all taken you by surprise.
‘And there have been ongoing discussions about this case this morning which explains the delay in you coming into court.
‘It is not uncommon for a defendant to reconsider his position in relation to a criminal charge even as late as this on what was to be the first day of the trial and he has done so and pleaded guilty.
‘Your task in coming to this trial was to determine whether the defendant was guilty or not guilty of this charge and you have heard from him he is guilty, so I am afraid we no longer need your services to determine that particular issue so I am going to apologise for what happened but I hope that explains why it is you have been kept waiting this morning.
The judge bailed Ankrett and ordered him to return to court for sentencing on October 18 (Pictured: Wolverhampton Crown Court)
‘In relation to the sentencing, this isn’t an appropriate venue so I am minded to adjourn sentencing in this case.
‘I will request the probation service to prepare a pre-sentence report and re-admit the defendant to bail.
‘I am sure he understands that in admitting him to bail I am not making any promises as to the eventual outcome.
‘He should expect to receive a sentence of imprisonment at the forthcoming hearing and needs to put his house in order, so to speak.’
The maximum sentence for misconduct in public office and improper exercise of police powers is life in prison.
Ankrett was bailed and ordered to return to court for sentencing on October 18.