Officer in plot to blackmail Gerrard

A policewoman is facing jail after seizing CCTV footage of a street bust-up to be used as a "tool to blackmail" England footballer Steven Gerrard.

Helen Jones, 33, a PC with Merseyside Police, obtained the footage by “flashing her warrant card” at a bank.

The incident involved friends of Gerrard, the then-England captain, becoming involved in a row with other men at a bar near his home in Formby, Merseyside, which spilled out on to the street and was caught on the cameras of a nearby bank.

Local businessman Paul Lloyd, 35, claimed Gerrard “threw the first punch” but the prosecution says the Liverpool midfielder was acting as a peacemaker, Preston Crown Court heard.

Jones, 33, admitted misconduct in a public office. She was off-duty and on a career break when she took the CCTV, but claimed she was only helping a friend of a friend who had been assaulted in the incident on August 4, 2013.

But she went to the Lloyds branch and took the CCTV four days later for “criminal purposes”, the prosecution claimed. Judge Stuart Baker agreed. He said Jones got the CCTV for “base motives” and described her as a “practised and persistent liar”.

He bailed Jones until she is sentenced in the new year, warning she may face jail


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