'Team deviant' police helicopter observer jailed for filming sex act swingers

'Team deviant' police helicopter observer jailed for filming sex act swingers
Adrian Pogmore. Photo: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

A "sex-obessed" former UK police officer who filmed a couple having sex from his force helicopter as well as other people sunbathing naked has been jailed for a year.

Sentencing Pc Adrian Pogmore, Judge Peter Kelson QC told him: "You, quite literally, considered yourself above the law."

Footage shot by Pogmore and screened at Sheffield Crown Court included graphic scenes of a couple having sex in a range of positions on their suburban patio.

Other footage showed a woman sunbathing naked in her garden, two naturists sitting outside their caravan and a couple lying naked on sun-loungers outside their home.

The court heard that Pogmore, 51, was "a swinging and sex-obsessed air observer" who was referred to as the "team deviant" by other members of the air support unit at South Yorkshire Police.

Pogmore, of Guilthwaite Crescent, Whiston, Rotherham, admitted four counts of misconduct in a public office last month, on the day his trial was due to start. He has been sacked by South Yorkshire Police.

Two other police officers and two helicopter pilots were tried and cleared of the same offence after telling a jury that they had no idea what Pogmore was doing with the high-powered camera on board the aircraft.

Judge Kelson told Pogmore, who was in tears as he was sentenced: "In short, you used a £2 million helicopter which costs something like 1,000 dollars (sic) an hour to run to advance your own sexual curiosities when it should have been detecting crime."

He said: "Instead of deterring and detecting crime, you were committing crime."

The judge said Pogmore's actions were "offensive and invasive" and called him a "rogue police officer".

Judge Kelson said: "So strong were your sexual urges that you were willing to take, and did take, substantial risks of being detected by your colleagues in the helicopter at the time."

He said: "You spied on and recorded these naked people from a height of 1,000ft.

"You, quite literally, considered yourself above the law. Nobody is above the law."

The judge told Pogmore his actions have "severely damaged public confidence" in the police and referred to a victim personal statement by one of the women filmed without her knowledge.

This woman said that since she found out about the filming she found it very difficult to deal with the police as she was not sure which officers may have viewed the footage.

She said: "If you can't trust the police, who can you trust?"

She said the incident had had a big impact on her life and left her paranoid.

But the judge said he also took into account Pogmore's 22 year police service, which included a number of commendations, including one for saving the life of an 11-year-old boy.

Judge Kelson said he understood the huge impact this case had had on the officer's family after "something in the region of 15 to 20 minutes of misconduct in a 22 year police career".

The judge said he found it an "immensely difficult" sentencing exercise and said: "I'm as acutely aware as anyone else that without the thin blue line this country would fall into anarchy."

But he said is was a "gross abuse of trust" and he had to impose a custodial sentence.

The judge said he was also aware the 13th century law of misconduct in a public office was "very much under review" and had been criticised by the Lord Chief Justice.

Earlier, John Ryder QC, defending, told the judge he accepted that there was no culture of misconduct within the air support unit but there was a macho culture he would categorise as "coarse locker room humour rather than anything more sinister".

Mr Ryder said Pogmore had always admitted what he had done, was visibly upset about the impact on those he filmed and "feels a strong sense of shame".

"He fully appreciates the seriousness of his behaviour," the barrister said.

"It was utterly irresponsible. It was thoughtless and foolish. But it was not motivated by anything more sinister than that."

He said Pogmore and his family had suffered "nothing short of humiliation".

But Mr Ryder added: "It is his fault, he accepts that."

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