Hampshire Police officer cleared of raping woman he met on Bumble dating app

Stock image of Hampshire police car Credit: ITV Meridian

A Hampshire police officer has been formally cleared of the rape of a woman during a first date after they met on the Bumble online dating app after the complainant did not want to give evidence at a third trial.

Police Constable David Longden-Thurgood, of Hampshire Constabulary, has faced two trials at Winchester Crown Court accused of the rape of a woman, a mother aged in her 30s, at her home in October 2020.

The first trial collapsed in June 2022 after four jurors tested positive for Covid-19.

And the jury in the retrial was discharged last month after failing to reach a verdict.

Prosecutor Rebecca Fairbairn told a hearing at Salisbury Crown Court: "The complainant, in this case, was consulted, having been through two trials, the complainant did not wish to go through a third trial.

"Accordingly the Crown does not consider it to be in the public interest to compel her to attend any further trial and her wishes have been respected in that regard.

"The Crown would like to formally offer no evidence in this matter."

Judge Richard Parkes QC recorded a verdict of not guilty against the single charge and dismissed the case against Pc Longden-Thurgood.

The 49-year-old, from Waterlooville, Hampshire, had told the court that he believed that the complainant had consented to sex although she had said earlier that she did not want to have sex that night.