Page last updated at 13:52 GMT, Friday, 18 December 2009

Former Humberside police officer jailed for sex attacks

A former police officer who was convicted of attempted rape and two sexual assaults has been jailed for five years.

Lee Rackham, who was a serving Humberside Police officer when the offences took place, was told he had seriously abused his position of trust.

Rackham, 33, of Kent Road, Cottingham, East Yorkshire, was convicted by a jury at Leeds Crown Court in November.

He was cleared of carrying out three other sexual assaults.

Rackham had denied one charge of attempted rape and five charges of sexual assault between 10 April and 1 September 2008.

He was dismissed by Humberside Police in May this year.

Domestic dispute

Sentencing Rackham, Judge Scott Wolstenholme told him: "You rapidly personalised any encounters you had with women and forced yourself onto them in a sexual way.

"Your defence was that any sexual activity was consensual and you took the view that you did not realise any advances were unwelcome.

"You've served your country in the Armed Forces and I'm sure were a good police officer in your time but this was a most serious breach of trust."

The judge also told Rackham that a letter he had received from his wife asking him to be merciful could not help him escape a custodial sentence.

The court earlier heard Rackham had tried to rape a woman after he befriended her while attending a domestic dispute at her home in East Yorkshire.

The jury was told he pushed the woman against her kitchen units and tried to rape her while her son was strapped into his pushchair in a nearby room

The women told the jury: "I was just concerned about my little boy in the room next door. Then I was furious."

'Embarrassed and ashamed'

She said Rackham was apologetic after the attack.

"He was sorry. He didn't want to lose his job or partner," she added.

Rackham's convictions for sexual assault related to incidents with two different woman.

The court was told he met one woman in a police station where she expressed interest in the forensic service and he went round to her house with information. Once inside the house, he kissed her.

On another occasion he touched a woman's chest.

Rackham told the jury he was embarrassed and ashamed about the way he acted with the victims.

He admitted he told four women he was single or that his marriage was in trouble because he was having a "rough patch" with his wife and he hoped a relationship with the other women might progress.

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