A “manipulative” police officer, retired at the time, who groped a victim of crime and had an affair with a “vulnerable” woman has been jailed.
Alan Butler, 64, began an extra-martial affair with one woman and bombarded her with calls between October 2015 and August 2017.
Butler served as an officer for Warwickshire Police for more than 30 years tackling kidnappings, robberies and sexual offences.
Warwick Crown Court heard he preyed on another vulnerable woman he was supposed to be helping in 2017 who claimed he used his position to “groom” her.
Disgraced Butler, of Nuneaton, Warks., was found guilty of two charges of misconduct in a public office and today he was jailed for 18 months.
Judge Anthony Potter said: “It would have been obvious to you that [the first woman] she was going through difficulties in her life.
“I am quite satisfied you realised she was relying on you to a disproportionate extent.
“When she complains that you were manipulating her, I find that to be the case.”
Judge Potter said Butler used his position as a police officer to “coerce” the second victim into kissing him.
He told Butler: “She never gave you any indication that she wanted to have a relationship with you.
“You frequently visited her under the guise of pursuing your activities as a police officer, and you coerced her into kissing you on at least two occasions and allowing you to touch her bottom, something she was uncomfortable with.
“As she said, you saw an opportunity to manipulate her and pursue your own agenda, and you took it.
“Your offending has had a profound and deep-seated effect on both women.
“You had cynically made an assessment that if they were to complain, there was every chance their complaints would be disregarded.
“Not only must police officers be deterred from such conduct, but the public must see that condign punishment will follow for officers who betray the trust placed in them.”
The court heard Butler struck up a sexual relationship with the first woman while he was investigating a complaint made by her.
Giving evidence, the first woman said: “When he needed to be supportive, his professional hat went on.
“Otherwise he would be flirty, but not in a way, when I first met him, that I thought it was something wrong.
“I never thought that something like that was going to happen.”
“He was saying ‘Have you reported me?’ He was frantic. I knew he meant report him to the police, because he knew it was out of order what was going on.
“I said he should keep it in his pants, then. He said that I was the only person he had had an extra-marital affair with.
“The first time I spoke to Alan Butler, little did I know my life would be left in turmoil.
“He manipulated me at a time he was supposed to be there for me. He totally abused his position of trust.
“I trusted Alan, but in reality he was grooming and manipulating me to use me for his own sexual gratification.”
The second woman said Butler had visited her at her home and had gone upstairs to use the toilet.
When he came out and she asked him to go back downstairs, he told her: “I nearly kissed you.”
The jury heard Butler did kiss her on occasions and had had also touched that woman inappropriately on her bottom.
She told the court: “I feel extremely vulnerable and feel I can’t trust the police.
“He abused his power to coerce me into doing things I didn’t want to do.
“Mr Butler saw an opportunity to manipulate me, and he made me believe he was trying to help me to get justice, but he had an alternative agenda.
“He took advantage of me at the most vulnerable time of my life.”
Grace Ong, prosecuting, had explained: “This case is about Mr Butler abusing his position as a public official, a police investigator.
“He entered into a sexual relationship with one woman, and also did some inappropriate touching and had a personal relationship with [another].”
Christopher Millington, defending, said: “Sadly you are dealing with a defendant approaching 65 years of age, and one who was coming towards the end of many years of public service.”