Sunday 18 March 2018

Married police officer 'raped teenage call girl he had an affair with'

Peter Lower, a sergeant with Avon and Somerset Police, leaves Bristol Crown Court where he is on trial accused of rape, sexual assault, assault and false imprisonment
Credit: Rod Minchin/PA Wire
Peter Lower, a sergeant with Avon and Somerset Police, leaves Bristol Crown Court where he is on trial accused of rape, sexual assault, assault and false imprisonment Credit: Rod Minchin/PA Wire

Rod Minchin, Press Association

A MARRIED police officer embarked on an affair with a teenage call girl that culminated in repeated rapes, a court in England heard.

Sergeant Peter Lower, 52, is alleged to have punched and kicked the alleged victim before sexually assaulting and raping her.

In one alleged incident in a hotel room Lower - a married father - is said to have put a pillow case over her head, tied a dressing gown cord around her hands and led her to the shower where he drenched her in water.

On another occasion Lower is accused of throttling the woman until she passed out.

Bristol Crown Court heard that the alleged victim had wanted to join the police and was first contacted by Lower via email.

He told her he could not afford to pay her but would instead help her complete her application forms to join the force.

Prosecutor Peter Coombe explained to the jury that the woman first complained to the police in 2014 about the defendant and made allegations about events in 2009.

"She alleged that the defendant had physically and sexually assaulted her when they were in a relationship," Mr Coombe said.

"She was 19 turning 20 years of age and at that time the defendant was 46 and he was a serving police sergeant.

"After the last assault the two of them continued to communicate and they must have met on occasions.

"When she was 19 she was an escort girl and the defendant contacted her by email. He said he could not afford to pay her.

"She had wanted to join the police service and in return for her services he would help her with her application form.

"Unfortunately she did not get through but she was utterly besotted with the defendant and after she was turned down by the regular police she became a special constable for a short time."

Mr Coombe said the woman would describe a "quite turbulent relationship".

"She was jealous because the defendant was married and had children," Mr Coombe said.

"She was jealous of his wife and he was still in a relationship with his wife and as I told you she had become quite besotted with him.

"She would tell him about other men she was seeing and that would anger him.

"She would say 'If you're seeing your wife why can't I see other men?'"

Mr Coombe described another alleged incident that is said to have happened in a Bristol hotel room which saw them argue and Lower threaten to throw an expensive pair of her shoes out of a window.

"The defendant pushed her into the bed and told her she was a bitch. He undid her trousers and took off her underwear," he said.

"She was telling him to get off."

Lower is then alleged to have raped her.

Describing the incident with the shower, Mr Coombe said: "The defendant remarked that she liked it rough and put a pillow case over her head, tied her hands behind her back with the cord from his dressing gown and led her to the shower.

"He made remarks that he was texting another man and turned on the shower. She was worried she wouldn't be able to breath with the wet pillow case over her head."

He then took her back to the bedroom and untied her, telling her he was sorry and crying, the prosecutor said.

Lower's wife found out and their contact slowed but they continued to have incremental contact over the years that followed.

The alleged victim told police she had made up two men - called Greg and Tom - to try and make Lower jealous.

"She admitted she wanted him to leave his wife and she wanted him to be rough during sex," Mr Coombe said.

"She remarked that the defendant had remarked to her that it's not the first time he had raped someone and for a while he pretended to her that he had raped his wife but he later admitted he had made that up."

Lower, of Hill Path, Banwell, North Somerset, denies three charges of rape, three charges of assault by penetration, one charge of sexual assault, four charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and a single charge of false imprisonment.

The trial continues.

Online Editors

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News