Met Police officer sexually assaulted woman in Brighton sea on his stag-do

A Metropolitan Police sergeant has been discovered responsible of sexually assaulting a woman in the sea on his stag night time.

Sergeant Laurence Knight, 34, is claimed to have met the woman, a stranger, in Brighton metropolis centre in the early hours of July 17 2021.

Prosecutors mentioned the pair walked to the seashore collectively, stripped all the way down to their underwear and ended up in the sea, the place sexual exercise befell.

Knight, of Leyton, east London, was charged with rape and sexual assault following the incident, and denied each costs.

The Met suspended him from obligation.

He was discovered not responsible of rape by a jury at Southwark Crown Courtroom following greater than seven hours of deliberations. Jurors weren’t requested whether or not that verdict was unanimous or a majority choice.

He was convicted of sexual assault by a majority of 10 to 2.

He shall be sentenced on a date to be fastened.

The woman had earlier been out for dinner and drinks and was with a buddy after they got here throughout a “jovial” group of males who appeared confused about the place to go as they have been on an evening out and the pubs have been closing, the courtroom heard.

In her police interview she informed officers Knight needed to enter the sea and she or he didn’t want to however he persuaded her, telling her “it was his stag night time, he was meant to be having enjoyable nevertheless it was turning right into a garbage night time”.

Jurors heard that the defendant seemed as if he was going to cry so the woman mentioned sure and took off her costume as a result of she didn’t need it to get moist.

Knight went behind the woman in the water and moved her underwear, which is when the alleged sexual exercise befell, the courtroom was informed.

The woman mentioned she “repeatedly” informed Knight to “cease” and reminded him that he was “getting married in two weeks”, jurors heard.

Afterwards, jurors heard, the woman obtained dressed, informed her buddy what had occurred and referred to as 999.

She claimed a buddy of the defendant informed her: “Larry desires me to let you know that he’s sorry.”

She mentioned she has skilled a spread of emotions since that night time, together with feeling sick and being unable to sleep or eat correctly.

In his proof to the jury, Knight claimed it was the woman who urged going into the sea and she or he who first touched his penis.

He mentioned he then touched her vagina for just a few seconds, pondering it was consensual, earlier than she made the remark about his imminent wedding ceremony they usually returned to the shore. He denied he had any intention to penetrate her.

Requested throughout cross-examination why he went into the sea along with her, he replied: “Fairly truthfully, I fairly loved having the eye. It was a really spur-of-the-moment request from her, it was not mentioned earlier than.

“Having had some alcohol and being the stag and being the one which all the pieces was deflected in the direction of, I suppose the phrase is ‘peer strain’.”

Requested who the peer strain was coming from, Knight mentioned: “I’ll have utilized it myself.”

The courtroom heard that he tried to ship the woman a Fb message on July 21 that yr, saying: “You aren’t (the woman) that went for a dip in the sea on Friday while her man buddy taken care of her bag?”

The defendant, who labored for a charity and as a instructor earlier than becoming a member of the police, informed jurors he had despatched the message “to acknowledge I used to be embarrassed. She was youthful, maybe much less mature and she or he was the one which stepped in and stopped it going any additional.”

He mentioned he later deleted the message as a result of he turned nervous that his fiancee would see it.

He additionally informed jurors his “preliminary response” to his arrest was believing he was being subjected to “an prolonged prank from the stag do”.

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