Page last updated at 16:13 GMT, Wednesday, 30 September 2009 17:13 UK

Policeman cleared of sex charges

PC Craig Horne
PC Horne wept after he was cleared of the charges

A police officer has been cleared of indecently assaulting three teenage police cadets.

Pc Craig Horne, 44, denied performing a sex act in front of one cadet and fondling the others while a diver with Strathclyde Police's underwater unit.

A jury at Glasgow Sheriff Court cleared him of carrying out seven assaults between May 2006 and February 2008.

Mr Horne wept after being found not guilty on three charges and not proven on the other four.

The married father-of-one from Motherwell, North Lanarkshire, was alleged to have committed the offences when the cadets visited the underwater unit at Springburn police office for training.

He denied the charges but said he had an affair with one of the women.

At first I thought it was a joke but when I was taken to Maryhill police office my world fell apart. I contemplated suicide
Pc Craig Horne

The court heard from a woman, now a serving police officer, who claimed that Mr Horne exposed himself to her in a police van on a training trip to Millport when she was 18 years old.

The officer said that PC Horne then went on to perform a sex act but stopped before two other constables returned to the van.

The court heard that the woman later gave a statement to the force's professional standards after they contacted her.

A second policewoman told the court that Horne had rubbed her leg in the back of a police vehicle while she was an 18-year-old cadet.

The woman, now 21, said that she told another officer shortly after it happened and Horne later apologised to her.

Police suspension

The third witness, also a police officer, claimed that she was just 17 when Horne assaulted her in the supervisors room at Springfield police office.

The officer told the court that he assaulted her again as she was unloading a van outside the office.

The court heard that Mr Horne had been suspended from the police since he was detained in February last year.

Questioned by his defence counsel, he said: "At first I thought it was a joke but when I was taken to Maryhill police office my world fell apart. I contemplated suicide."



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