Ex-officer jailed for starting sexual relationships with domestic violence victims


A former police officer has been jailed for 34 months after pursuing sexual relationships with domestic violence victims.

Rhett Wilson, from Tidworth, met vulnerable women while working as an officer for West Mercia Police in Shropshire.

He also shared sexually explicit images sent by one woman with his friends and boasted about his sexual activities to them. One of his victims told how she could no longer have trust in the police and was scared to go outside for fear of running into Wilson.

Wilson came into contact with the three women after they had reported domestic violence allegations to the police.

Wilson met domestic violence victims in his work as a police officer for West Mercia Police in Shropshire (West Mercia Police)
Wilson met domestic violence victims in his work as a police officer for West Mercia Police in Shropshire (West Mercia Police)

He was also convicted of perverting the course of justice after deleting evidence on his phone, having been caught for his “exploitative behaviour”, the court heard.

Giovanni D’Alessandro, prosecuting, told Worcester Crown Court that Wilson had been trained in supporting victims of domestic violence and warned by fellow police officers of the consequences of initiating relationships with vulnerable victims.

Ms D’Alessandro said: “Rhett Wilson was fully aware of his professional obligations in relation to those he met through his duties.

“Yet, he targeted women he knew to be vulnerable and used his position of power to exploit them for his sexual gain.”

Wilson, pictured leaving court in December, asked one victim to send images of her bruises, and later sexually explicit pictures from before her attack (Newsquest)
Wilson, pictured leaving court in December, asked one victim to send images of her bruises, and later sexually explicit pictures from before her attack (Newsquest)

One victim, who Wilson pursued, said in a victim statement: “I feel I cannot trust the police anymore to help me. I don’t feel I can call them out because they might be friends of him.

“I did not feel anyone would believe me because he was a policeman.”

They also described how they felt unable to go out in their hometown of Shrewsbury out of fear of seeing the defendant.

Another victim said she was already suffering from PTSD from their experience of domestic violence and that Wilson’s abuse had made it worse.

Ms D’Alessandro also told the court that Wilson had repeatedly used racial references and slurs to one victim, describing her as “a little half Indian victim”.

In Whatsapp message exchanges shown to the court, Wilson discussed potentially going to jail for his actions. His friend replied: “Not as long as she keeps her poppadom-eating mouth shut.”

Wilson told the court he believed the relationship was acceptable as the woman’s case had been transferred to another police force.

Defence lawyers said Wilson had admitted to pursuing the relationships and added that “he was extremely young in service and in age” at the time.

They said the defendant had left the force in 2020 to rejoin the army, where he had been described by senior officers as “outstanding” in leading patrols on the Estonian border.

Wilson was given a 34-month custodial sentence, with the sentencing Judge Cartwright explaining the offences risked harming public confidence in police.

Deputy Chief Constable Alex Murray from West Mercia Police said: “Rhett Wilson abused his position as a police officer to start relationships, and it is likely his victims did not even know what he was doing was wrong.

The public need to have confidence police officers will act with the utmost integrity and not abuse their powers.

Wilson’s actions could seriously undermine that confidence his exploitive behaviour will not be tolerated in West Mercia Police.”

Published by anthonyhayble

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