Manchester police officer accused of raping student in her home after she rang for help

The 20-year-old student had called police after her ex threatened to post naked photos of her online

An off-duty police officer is on trial for raping a 20-year-old student in her home after she called the police for help.

The young woman was allegedly attacked by Greater Manchester police constable, James Andrew Darnton, after she reached out to the police for advice when her ex-boyfriend threatened to post naked photos of her online

The court heard how Darnton, now 53, raped the alleged victim when he returned to her home unaccompanied in 2009, MailOnline reports.

Liverpool Crown Court heard how Darnton had attended the student’s home with a colleague to check-in on her, before leaving his card and personal phone number. He had reportedly smirked when viewing the photographs of the victim which were being used against her.

The woman, now 35, rung Darnton later the same day to follow up on her report, which led to the officer returning to her home unaccompanied.

On returning to her home, Darnton told the woman that “no one will listen” to the threats made by her ex-boyfriend as she was from a “broken home” and a “brown person”.

In a recorded interview played to the courtroom, Darnton can be heard offering the woman a glass of water after she became upset over the situation before following her into the kitchen and utility room.
The victim recited how she was kissed unexpectedly by Darnton, then 37: “I could feel his presence behind me and I was thinking this is not going to end with me getting a glass of water. He followed me into the utility room. I turned round and he was right there and he kissed me, really kissed me, quite intensely kissed me.
“He grabbed my breasts and squeezed and then turned me around and lent me over the worktop where the washing machine was underneath.”
The victim explained how she believed Darnton’s actions were “because he cared about her” and thought “it must be because he likes me”.

She explained: “I heard him unbuckle his belt and unzip and he pulled my leggings down just below my bum on top of my thighs and he penetrated me. He was going really hard and fast. It felt like it was really quick. I remember him making sexual noises.

“I don’t remember him saying anything to me, he was holding me down. I just went really quiet. I wasn’t making any sexual noises, I was just waiting for it to finish.”

The pair then re-dressed before Darnton resumed conversation about the complaint against her former partner. Explaining that her report was futile, he said: “It’s just your word against his. You are from a broken home, you are a brown person, no one will listen.”

The officer allegedly told the woman he would speak to her soon, before leaving the house. The woman later said: “I didn’t ring him. I thought maybe I had enticed him to have sex.”

James Andrew Darnton, known as “Andy”, now faces one charge of rape between June 4th and July 1st, 2009 which he denies.

Owen Edwards, prosecuting, told the jury that the alleged offence was reported when police visited the woman at her home in West Yorkshire for a separate incident in October 2021.

A female police officer attended the woman’s home after she explained she did not want to engage with male officers. It was on this visit that the victim claimed that Darnton had raped her 15 years earlier.

She revealed to the officer how he had visited her family home twice and the second time “he bent her over the kitchen surface and had vaginal sexual intercourse”.

Mr Edwards said that in her first interview, she described how roughly Darnton raped her and then “returned to discussing the situation with her ex as if nothing had happened.”

He alleged to the jury: “The sex was mechanical, there was no foreplay, no loving words, no sexual noises from her, no lubrication, nothing.

“He was a man in a position of power dealing with an attractive and vulnerable 20-year-old who was seeking his help. He literally took advantage of her and ignored the fact that she was not consenting.”

He continued to explain how Darnton abused his power as a police officer at the time of the alleged offence: “Instead of investigating the matter properly he took the chance to take his own sexual pleasure, rightly assuming that she would not make a formal complaint about him.”

Mr Edwards added that the defendant continues to deny the accusation, claiming that the woman’s account is a complete invention and an “allegation made by an unreliable and inconsistent witness years after the event”.

He said that Darnton “doubted that he would have provided that phone number to this complainant” and could think of no reason why she would “choose to lie about him in this way”.

The case continues.

Related articles recommended by the writer:

Featured image via Google Maps