Policeman from Harold Wood accused of raping schoolgirl ‘made realisation during sex’

Snaresbrook Crown Court. Picture: John Stillwell/PA

Snaresbrook Crown Court. Picture: John Stillwell/PA - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Ima

A policeman accused of raping a Redbridge schoolgirl said he “might be a weirdo” but would never “force himself” on anyone, in a police interview.

Jurors at Snaresbrook Crown Court today watched the interview filmed the same day Pc John Wigglesworth, 46, of The Ridgeway, Harold Wood, was arrested at his home in August, last year.

His alleged victim – now 22 – claims Mr Wigglesworth, who worked in Tower Hamlets, contacted her through website Netlog in 2007, when she was 14.

It is claimed he would pick her up after school at least once a week over a two-year period, take her to his home in Lynnett Road, Dagenham and rape her.

The alleged incidents between 2007 and 2009 were reported to police in 2013.

“Somehow we got talking on the internet,” said Mr Wigglesworth.

“I said I wanted to meet her and she said she wanted to meet me – it was on two occasions.”

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The police officer, who has been suspended, claims he had consensual sex with the claimant on the second occasion.

“The first time we met we kissed and cuddled and that was it,” he said.

Speaking of the second meeting he said: “She was into it, she was reciprocating – I might be a f****** weirdo but I would never force myself [on someone].

“I would never do that to someone – if I was with someone and they didn’t want to be with me – I couldn’t do it.”

Mr Wigglesworth spoke of his reasons for becoming a police officer and cited abuse suffered as a child.

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.

“There’s a time in your life when you’re lonely and you want to talk to someone different.”

He claimed that while having consensual sex with the girl he stopped “about two minutes” later after making a “realisation”.

“I realised this was wrong, this is a young girl, that’s when I did my best to distance myself,” he said.

Along with Mr Wigglesworth himself, giving evidence was the alleged victim’s teacher, friend as well as the police officer who arrested the defendant.

The court heard how Mr Wigglesworth told officers who came to arrest him “I’m f***** aren’t I, no matter what way you look at it, she was 14 or 15 at the time”.

Today, he pleaded guilty to one count of engaging in sexual activity with a child. He is accused of two further counts of engaging in sexual activity with a child and three counts of rape.

Mr Wigglesworth denies the remaining charges.

The trial continues.