Police sergeant, 56, bugged victim’s home then stalked and raped her before begging her not to report him because he would be sent to jail
- Clive Garton, 56, stalked victim for years and bugged her lounge and bedroom
- In October 2016 he visited her house and then raped her on the landing
- She called police and he begged her not to report him over the crime
- Garton denied rape but was found guilty at Lewes Crown Court and faces jail
A Police Sergeant faces jail after stalking and raping a woman before begging her not to report him because he feared being sent to prison.
Clive Garton, 56, bugged his victims home using recording devices disguised as plugs in her lounge and bedroom so he could ‘hear her every move’.
A jury heard he stalked her ‘for years’ by following her car around and bombarding her with text messages
In October 2016 he visited her home and raped her on her landing after the pair had a row.
Clive Garton, pictured, 56, has been found guilty of raping a woman after bugging her home with listening devices he bought off eBay so he could ‘hear her every move’
Lewes Crown Court heard he then pleaded with her not to report him and offered to ‘sign a contract’ agreeing to do whatever she wanted in return.
The court heard Garton was on duty at a far-right protest march in Margate, Kent, on October 22, 2016, he made 24 phone calls to the recording devices, bought off eBay, so he could hear what was going on in the house.
Later that evening, he visited her and the pair got into a heated row, leading to him throwing a sewing box across a room.
The court heard the victim then sat on the stairs waiting for him to leave, at which point Garton straddled her and started kissing her despite her telling him to stop multiple times.
She tried to escape up the stairs, but Garton raped her.
The court heard she told him afterwards that she had not consented to sex, to which he replied that he thought she was ‘playing’.
The woman phoned police to report the attack while he was still in the house, leading to Garton ‘pacing up and down and holding his head in his hands’.
During the 999 call, made at about 11pm that night, the woman said: ‘He got me up on the landing, pushed me down and just had sex with me. I didn’t agree to it at all.
‘He is still here now. He was begging me not to phone.
‘He has just asked me to tell you that I have made it up – unbelievable.’
Garton asked her to withdraw the complaint, insisting he would give her whatever she wanted in exchange and would commit to it by signing a contract.
She wrote down a number of requests which he agreed to and signed, before she then phoned the police back moments later.
In the second call, the woman said: ‘I booked in a call earlier…I wondered if I could cancel it please?
‘I need to cancel it because we had a bit of a row and I needed to get him out the house so I phoned up and said that we had sex and I had not consented.
‘Now I am changing it.’
But Garton, of Sittingbourne, Kent, was arrested later that evening.
He denied all three charges, but was found guilty after a week-and-half-long trial at Lewes Crown Court of rape, stalking and perverting the course of justice.
The jury heard that he told her: ‘Please don’t report me, I will lose my job and end up going to prison.’
When Dale Sullivan, prosecuting, asked Garton whether it was proper behaviour to plant listening devices, he replied: ‘It’s more than the average person would do, I accept that, but I don’t believe it was improper.’
Michael Morris, defending, made reference throughout the trial to Garton’s ‘exceptional’ previous character, pointing out his role in shutting down a £1.3 million drug importation ring and handling a man who had doused himself in petrol and threatened to set himself on fire in a stand off at a shop in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.
Garton was found guilty of rape at Lewes Crown Court, pictured, and remanded in custody
He also ran operations during the 2012 Olympic Games, including the Kent torch relay.
Garton, dressed in a dark suit, grey shirt and gold tie, bowed his head and closed his eyes as the verdict was delivered.
Judge Janet Waddicor said: ‘Mr Garton has been convicted of three very serious offences.
‘He is bound to go to prison and it seems to me that it is appropriate to remand him in custody now, pending sentence.’
Superintendent Nick Gossett said: ‘The victim in this case has showed great bravery in coming forward and giving evidence in difficult circumstances. I would like to commend her for her actions.
‘She has endured years of coercive and controlling behaviour at the hands of Garton and I hope the verdict will allow her the opportunity to move forward with her life.
‘This case demonstrates how seriously we take offences of both stalking and rape. I would like to urge anyone who is subjected to this behaviour to come forward. You will be taken seriously and there is a wealth of support on offer to help victims.’
Garton is due to be sentenced via videolink on June 6.
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