September 23 2014 Latest news:
by Tom Marshall
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
A female PCSO has gone on trial for allegedly sexually assaulting a young male colleague by spanking his bottom.
Josephine Browne, 50, subjected her victim to a string of unwanted advances over several months at a Camden police station last year, Southwark Crown Court was told when the case opened yesterday.
Her alleged victim told the court it was “the last straw” when she repeatedly slapped his bottom so hard there was still a mark an hour later.
She was arrested and charged with sexual assault after he lodged a formal complaint following the incident on August 18, 2013.
The man, another Camden PCSO who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the jury he was attempting to haul a heavy cabinet up some stairs with another co-worker when she struck.
Browne, of Munster Square, Regent’s Park, was supposed to be opening doors for them when he suddenly felt three “big spanks” on his bottom, the trial heard.
“I was really shocked,” he said.
“I told her to stop, but she continued – there were about two or three more afterwards.”
He said the blows were so strong there was still a mark when he got changed “an hour or two later” after his shift.
He added: “It made me feel paranoid about what she could do next.
“It was a really hard decision to make a complaint against a work colleague, but when I looked at everything that had happened, I had to do it because I didn’t know if she could do it to someone else or any members of the public.”
The jury heard claims of several other incidents that worried the alleged victim in the months beforehand.
He says he was reminded of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho after catching her staring at him getting dressed, with her face partly hidden behind a row of lockers which divided the station’s mixed changing rooms into male and female areas.
“It was kind of weird and made me feel a little bit paranoid I guess,” he told the jury.
“She had half her face covered and could see me changing through the locker.
“I have never had someone watching me like that.”
The court was told on another occasion she came to his side of the lockers with her top undone, revealing her bra, before apologising and saying it was her “time of the month”.
Browne was also said to have lent over and said “I know why you’re taking me to the top floor” in a “seductive” manner, when the pair were in a lift together on their way to a burglary victim’s flat.
In his opening speech, prosecutor Leo Seelig said Browne “took an unhealthy and you may think odd interest” in her younger colleague, who was “upset and intimidated” by the “unwanted attention”.
He warned the jury not to consider the matter just a “storm in a teacup”, saying: “Some of you may have been thinking ‘What’s all this about?’
“A woman, 50 years old, slapping a young man’s bottom?
“Some of you may have been thinking this is something of a storm in a teacup.
“If you have that thought, I ask you: How would you feel if it was a 50-year-old man making advances on a young woman?
“There’s no difference in reality between these two scenarios.”
Under cross-examination, Browne’s defence counsel, Tessa Shroff, accused her alleged victim of making up the allegations, simply because he did not like working with her.
Browne denies sexual assault and an alternative charge of common assault.
The trial continues.