Connors traveller family trial: "Police sent pretty officer to speak to witnesses"
POLICE sent a pretty young officer to coax a vulnerable man into giving evidence against the traveller family who had given him a roof over his head for 18 years, it was alleged yesterday.
Alex Gourley, 54, confirmed Detective Constable Emma Woodward visited and phoned him on a number of occasions to discuss the forthcoming Gloucestershire slave trial, Bristol Crown Court heard.
Mr Gourley had refused to be re-interviewed after his initial meeting with the police in March 2011, when the caravan site was raided.
"But when the police sent DC Woodward to see you in July of that year, you found her younger and less formal than the rather stern, solemn, serious and upright officer who spoke to you in March, did you not?" asked defence barrister Nick Atkinson QC.
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"The younger officer was pleasant, attractive and pleasant on the eye, was she not?"
Mr Gourley agreed.
The witness also agreed in cross-examination that DC Woodward helped him get a new flat.
"She took you to your new flat and then there were discussions about you giving evidence and she finally interviewed you in July," said Mr Atkinson."Is that so?"
Mr Gourley said: "Yes that's right."
In re-examination by prosecuting barrister Christopher Quinlan QC, Mr Gourley was reminded of his interview with the police in March 2011.
In that interview, Mr Gourley said he had been with the Staverton-based Connors family for a long time as they would have come and found him had he run away.
Mr Quinlan asked the witness if he had made things up in order to get compensation.
"No," said Mr Gourley.
The trial continues.