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Tuesday, January 17, 2023 – A police officer accused of raping a woman he met on dating app Bumble told a court she had moved into her ‘favourite’ sex position and made noises as if ‘she was enjoying it’.

PC David Longden-Thurgood claimed the woman was a ‘willing participant’ after she sent him a string of explicit WhatsApp messages.

A jury has been told the 49-year-old ‘was not prepared to take no for an answer’ when the pair met up, but he argued that she was ‘encouraging it’.

Longden-Thurgood is alleged to have raped the woman – a mother in her thirties – saying ‘it feels too good, I can’t stop now’.

The Hampshire Constabulary officer, who has served on the force for 19 years, denied this in court as he said: ‘I never said that in my life to anyone.

‘I am nearly 50, it’s not like I’m a teenager or someone who has not had many sexual experiences.

‘I’m very capable of stopping at any time.’

He also told jurors that as a father with daughters and having ‘dealt with victims of rape’ there was no way he would have had sex with the woman if she had not consented.

Winchester Crown Court, Hants, heard that prior to meeting up, the businesswoman had messaged suggestive comments including her favourite sexual position.

She had met the police officer on female friendly dating app Bumble and invited him to her home.

Longden-Thurgood told the trial that after asking him up to her bedroom to ‘spoon’ and engaging in some sexual touching, the woman rolled onto her front.

Longden-Thurgood said: ‘I recalled that she said “this is my favourite position”.

‘She put herself in that position. She certainly didn’t say stop, pull away, stand up, or say anything.

‘It was quite clear from her body language, it was my belief that she was encouraging it.

‘She opened her legs for me, to allow me to do it [the touching]. She never told me to stop at any point.

‘She was making sexual noises as if she was enjoying it. I was completely confident she was happy with what was happening as she moved her own leg.

‘She was a willing participant.’

Longden-Thurgood did however tell jurors the woman told him several times over the course of the evening that they were not going to have sex.

He said: She said “we’re not having sex tonight you know” and I said “that’s fine”.’

Later, after the pair had started kissing, Longden-Thurgood said she repeated that she did not plan on having sex with him that evening.

He said: ‘I went to put my hand down her jeans. She said “we’re not having sex tonight” and I said “that’s alright” – that wasn’t a problem and I stopped trying to put my hands down her jeans.’

Longden-Thurgood initially thought the alleged victim was ‘cold and unfriendly’, and was surprised when she invited him up to her bedroom to spoon.

He said: ‘This seemed a bit strange and against my feelings that she wasn’t into me.

‘I thought “maybe she does like me in that way”.’I didn’t know what was going to happen, I did not expect anything.

‘I did think “maybe she does want to have sex with me”.

‘I waited for her to show me upstairs and walked behind her. She said “but no funny business” and I thought that meant we’d just be spooning.’

When Longden-Thurgood left the house, the pair began exchanging messages which suggested the woman had not consented to what had happened, the court heard.

He said: ‘I took it that she was annoyed with herself that she wanted to have sex after saying she didn’t want to.

‘I felt she was backtracking a bit and saying “okay, maybe I’m overreacting a bit”.’

Longden-Thurgood denies one count of rape.

He told jurors: ‘I have daughters of my own. Being a police officer for nearly 20 years at that point, I have dealt with victims of rape.

‘She knew my name, that I was a police officer – she knew everything about me.

‘Why would I have sex with her when she did not want it? If someone asks me to stop I will stop.

‘I wouldn’t want to have sex with someone if they did not want to have sex with me.’

The trial at Winchester Crown Court continues.


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