South Yorkshire chopper cops go on trial accused of using force helicopter to film naked sunbathers and swingers' x-rated outdoor romp

(L-R) Lee Walls, Malcolm Reeves, Matthew Lucas and Matthew Loosemore are all accused of participating in the filming of naked sunbathers while employed as members of a South Yorkshire Police helicopter crew
(L-R) Lee Walls, Malcolm Reeves, Matthew Lucas and Matthew Loosemore are all accused of participating in the filming of naked sunbathers while employed as members of a South Yorkshire Police helicopter crew

Four members of a South Yorkshire Police helicopter crew, including a Doncaster pilot, have gone on trial accused of using force equipment to secretly film naked sunbathers and an outdoor sex show put on by a pair of 'brazen' swingers.

Pilots Matthew Loosemore, of Briar Close, Auckley and Malcolm Reeves, of Garfield Avenue, Knaresborough as well as serving officer Lee Walls, of Southlands Way, Aston, Sheffield are accused of one count of misconduct in public office relating to four recordings made using a police helicopter between August 2007 and July 2012.

Lee Walls

Lee Walls

Matthew Lucas of Coppice Rise, Chapeltown, Sheffield is accused of three counts of misconduct, relating to the same incidents.

Jurors at Sheffield Crown Court were this morning shown a 10-minute video, captured using high-tech recording equipment in a South Yorkshire Police helicopter, of a couple of having sex in a variety of different positions on a patio area in the back garden of a Rotherham property.

Prosecuting, Richard Wright QC, told the court that not only were the couple aware they were being recorded but they 'relished' being filmed; and in the video footage used in evidence before the court this morning the woman can be clearly seen waving to the camera before initiating sexual activity with her partner.

The woman is naked throughout the video, while her partner was captured wearing just a Manchester United shirt.

Malcolm Reeves

Malcolm Reeves

Former police constable Adrian Pogmore, 51, has admitted to being involved in the making of the footage on July 28, 2008 as well as three other surreptitious videos taken of five naked or semi-clothed sunbathers, one of whom was only eight-years-old, across the South Yorkshire area between 2007 and 2012.

Mr Wright told the court that the couple captured having sex, in the third of four incidents to be brought before the court in this trial, were friends of Pogmore's.

He said: "[They] shared his sexual interest in the swinging scene. It was clearly therefore no coincidence that the helicopter orbits around their garden while they brazenly put on a show.

"They may have welcomed the thrill of being observed in this way, but this incident encapsulates the wider harm to the public trust and confidence in the police occasioned by this offending."

Matthew Loosemore

Matthew Loosemore

Pogmore, of Guilthwaite Crescent, Whiston, Rotherham has pleaded guilty to four charges of misconduct in a public office.

Mr Wright said all of the defendants (Loosemore, Reeves, Walls and Lucas) effectively place the blame for all four recordings 'at the door of Pogmore'.

The first incident took place on August 23, 2007, when a woman sunbathing naked in her private back garden, which has a seven-feet high fence surrounding it, was filmed for several minutes.

Her daughters aged 18, 15 and eight-years-old, all of whom were all in bikinis, were also caught on camera.

Matthew Lucas

Matthew Lucas

On that date Malcolm Reeves, 64, of Garfield Avenue, Knaresborough was piloting the aircraft, sitting next to him was Pogmore acting as a left police air observer, while serving officer Lee Walls, 46, was the right police air observer.

Mr Wright said: "The helicopter has a sophisticated camera attached to it that can be controlled by the crew and the camera was trained upon [the woman] and her children.

"The camera has a powerful zoom function and the operator used that to zoom in on the naked body [of the woman] and in particular her genitalia."

The second incident took place a few hours before the swinger couple were filmed having sex on July 28, 2008.

An 81-year-old man and his partner were filmed for several minutes sunbathing naked on a secluded piece of private farmland in Doncaster.

On this occasion serving officer Matthew Lucas was the left police air observer, while Pogmore was the right air observer.

Adrian Pogmore

Adrian Pogmore

Matthew Loosemore, 44, who was a South Yorkshire Police pilot before transferring to the National Police Air Service in 2013, was piloting the aircraft on that occasion but he has not been charged in relation to this incident.

Mr Wright said this was due to the Crown's belief 'it is quite possible he was unaware of the camera being used to film this couple'.

The fourth incident took place at another private home in the Rotherham area on July 22, 2012, when the property's homeowners were sunbathing naked in their garden.

Mr Wright said: "The helicopter was not there on police business and had no legitimate reason to circle the property during which time the camera was used to record and zoom in on the couple and in particular the naked genitalia of the female."

The offending came to light when all four recordings were discovered in a drawer used by Pogmore at Maltby police station in March 2015.

Mr Wright told jurors there will be attempts by the defence teams to 'trivilaise' the behaviour of the four defendants, in a bid for their alleged offending to be seen as nothing worse than 'isolated incidents of laddish conduct'.

He added: "This was a deliberate invasion of their privacy for at the very least the inappropriate amusement of the crew and at worst for their sexual gratification. It represents not just an abuse of the trust that was placed in them as the crew of the police helicopter, but also a gross waste of a valuable resource and all with the effect that as a result the public confidence in the South Yorkshire Constabulary.

"There was no legitimate police purpose for any of the observations being made on these members of the public. There was no basis for flying over their homes, selecting them as targets and filming them."

Walls, Loosemore and Reeves, who retired from his role as a pilot with SYP in 2013, all deny one count of misconduct in a public office while Lucas, of Coppice Rise, Chapeltown, Sheffield denies three counts of misconduct.

The trial continues.