Shirebrook cop found not guilty over interview ‘lie’

COURT: Court Case
COURT: Court Case

A police sergeant accused of lying about an interview with a vulnerable suspect has been found not guilty of perverting the course of justice.

Sergeant Matthew Troth, from Shirebrook Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team, was cleared of two charges against him by a jury at Nottingham Crown Court last Thursday.

The officer of 14 years was accused of conducting an interview with an 18-year-old with Asperger syndrome without an appropriate adult present and then lying about it in his notebook. He was also accused of lying on a witness statement by saying an appropriate adult was present at the interview.

But he was cleared of two counts of perverting the course of justice after a four-day trial.

The court heard how on January 19, 2013, Mr Troth, alongside PC Gary Statham, went to the home of Jake Wilton, then 18, to talk to him about an incident the night before where he was named as the driver of a quad bike seen driving around Aldi car park on Carter Lane, Shirebrook.

Prosecuting, James House, told the court Mr Troth knew Jake Wilton had ADHD and Aspergers before an interview took place, but he carried on anyway despite knowing he would need an appropriate adult present.

But Adrian Keeling QC, for Mr Troth, said: “Why would he do that? He had never heard of Jake Wilton before. He had never met him before so there’s no question of any axe to grind or grudge against him as an individual.”

He said Mr Troth had realised half way through the interview that Jake needed an appropriate adult, at which point he called in his mother, Tracey Wilton. After the interview, she signed his pocket notebook, including a declaration that she had been acting in that capacity.

Mr Keeling added: “If this was a packet of lies she wouldn’t have signed it. The only way she would have signed it is if it was true. And that is exactly what we say is the truth of the matter. It’s as simple as that.”

Mr Troth, a married father, was suspended from Derbyshire Constabulary following the allegations, brought about in July 2013.

A spokesperson for Derbyshire Police, said: “Following the not guilty verdict Sgt Troth’s suspension has been lifted and he is due to return to work.”