Search

Policeman from Harold Wood cleared of raping schoolgirl

PUBLISHED: 16:37 18 January 2016 | UPDATED: 14:40 19 January 2016

Snaresbrook Crown Court. Picture: John Stillwell/PA

Snaresbrook Crown Court. Picture: John Stillwell/PA

PA Archive/Press Association Images

A police officer who admitted having consensual sex with a Redbridge schoolgirl has been cleared of rape.

Jurors at Snaresbrook Crown Court today found Pc John Wigglesworth, 46, of The Ridgeway, Harold Wood, not guilty on three counts of rape, covering a two year period from 2007.

He was cleared of two counts of engaging in sexual activity with a child, which covered the alleged two year period.

Last week, he pleaded guilty to one count of engaging in sexual activity with a child, covering the one occasion he admitted having consensual sex with the claimant, when she was 14.

Mr Wigglesworth was arrested at his home in August, last year, after his alleged victim – now 22 – claimed the officer, who worked in Tower Hamlets, contacted her through website Netlog in 2007 and raped her repeatedly over two years.

She claimed Mr Wigglesworth, who has since been suspended by Metropolitan Police, would pick her up after school at least once a week, take her to his home in Lynnett Road, Dagenham, and rape her.

The policeman, who admitted he messaged and met up with the girl, told jurors the pair “just kissed and cuddled” on their first encounter and had consensual sex once on their second and final meeting.

“You thought it would be alright to take this 14-year-old girl back to your home?,” asked Sally Fudge, prosecuting last week.

Mr Wigglesworth, a police officer of 18 years, replied: “She was happy to go back with me, I didn’t see a problem.”

“So it was just going to be the two of you? You didn’t you see a problem?” asked Ms Fudge.

“No,” replied Mr Wigglesworth. “We were just going to talk – no other intentions.”

Reflecting on his “friendship” with the alleged victim, he said: “It’s a stupid thing to start, I should never even thought about it – talking to someone her age. I realised this was wrong, that’s when I did my best to distance myself.”

During his police interview, which was shown to jurors, he said he “might be a weirdo” but insisted he would never “force himself” on anyone.

Mr Wigglesworth, who has been granted bail, is to be sentenced on Tuesday, February 23.

Related articles

Latest Romford News Stories

Readers may not have heard of Sadiq Khan’s planned expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), but it is set to have a detrimental impact on the hundreds of thousands of people who drive inside the North and South Circulars every day.

Christmas, the time of year when we are pressured to buy things no one wants for people we don’t want to buy for at prices we’re not happy with.

Yesterday, 11:38

Police tasered a man in Collier Row after he threatened officers with a meat cleaver.

Yesterday, 10:00

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our Met Office video forecast.

Yesterday, 08:00

The discovery that a man who had been jailed for using his position as a police officer to prey on vulnerable women could have been allowed to work at Queen’s hospital without a compulsory background check is worrying both for staff and patients.

Fri, 17:05

A market trader from Newbury Park has been found guilty of torching a £260,000 Ferrari during an arson attack in Emerson Park that was revenge for a business deal gone wrong.

Fri, 16:18

Two of the three teenagers accused of taking part in a fatal knife attack which killed a 15-year-old outside a party in Collier Row have claimed they played no role in the incident.

Fri, 16:00

Whether visiting friends and family or going for that bargain in the sales, the rail network helps a lot of people to get around over the festive period.

PROMOTED CONTENT

From November, The Mercury in Romford begins to celebrate Christmas. The mall has plenty of gift ideas, fun events and activities for everyone

Vauxhall has completed its sport utility vehicle range with the third, and largest, Grandland X. We put the SUV, now available at Tony LeVoi in Romford, to the test.

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,” so the saying goes. So if some warm weather is making your conservatory uninhabitable, think about replacing its roof with a flat one and adding a roof lantern instead.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

News from your area

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now