October 21 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
A female police officer accused of trying to let an uninsured Porsche driver off the hook after they exchanged flirtatious messages has been cleared of perverting the course of justice.
Pc Saheena Tegally, 26, swapped numbers with Richard Myerson after she pulled him over for an insurance check in Highgate in July last year, Wood Green Crown Court heard during the trial.
They sent texts and emails to each other, including one in which Mr Myerson suggested the Metropolitan Police officer should sit at her desk in her underwear after she complained about the heat, the jury was told.
In another message, the court heard the West Hampstead-based officer told Mr Myerson “It’s really hot. I’m in my bikini catching the sun.”
Prosecutors claimed Pc Tegally falsely told other officers that Mr Myerson had been covered when he was stopped because he was flirting with her and asked her out on a date.
But she denied perverting the course of justice.
She said the messages the couple swapped were just “banter” and she never had any intention of meeting him on a date.
The jury unanimously found Pc Tegally not guilty today, less than two hours after they retired to consider their verdicts.
Pc Tegally, of London Colney, Hertfordshire, broke down in tears in the dock and hugged members of her family after leaving the courtroom.
After the verdict, she said: “I’m just pleased. I just want to go home.”
Her mother added: “She needs to rest, it’s been a tough year.”
During the trial, Pc Tegally said that at the time of the alleged offence she had just broken off a relationship, during which she had undergone an abortion.
The court heard the officer sent Mr Myerson a text saying “far too hot to be stuck in uniform”, to which he replied “you could sit behind your desk in your underwear, then people will take bad news much easier”.
She admitted she had been “flattered” by the attention.
But she told the jury she was still in love with her ex-partner at the time and would not have met up with Mr Myerson.
She said she had never told her superiors definitively that he had been legally driving, only telling them it “looked like” he was.
Pc Tegally, who joined the Met as a community support officer in 2007, was suspended by the force pending the outcome of the trial.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said she remains suspended pending the outcome of a misconduct review hearing.