A POLICE officer accused of rape and sexual assault will have to wait to learn his fate.

West Mercia PC Michael Darbyshire denies rape and five counts of sexual assault at his ongoing trial at Worcester Crown Court. The jury has yet to reach verdicts after deliberating for more than four and a half hours so far.

The offences are alleged to have taken place in August and November 2019. The 55-year-old, who has given evidence from the witness box, told a jury: “I did not take the initiative.”

The police officer and Army veteran finished giving his evidence to the jury on Tuesday, bringing the defence case to a formal conclusion. Closing speeches were delivered by Andrew Jackson, for the prosecution, and Earl Pinnock, for the defence. Judge James Burbidge QC summed up the evidence to the jury yesterday with the jury retiring just after midday to consider its verdicts. The defendant described himself as ‘patriotic’, telling the jury he had served in the police for 26 years and the Royal Corps of Signals for six and a half years. He told the jury one of the alleged complainants, whom he met at the White Hart pub in Fernhill Heath, near Worcester, had ‘insisted that I stay over’. It was put to him in cross-examination that he had ‘controlled her, humiliated her to satisfy your own sexual urge’.

Darbyshire replied ‘no’ and went on to describe a consensual sex act he says the complainant performed upon him. Mr Jackson asked him if he was saying the complainant ‘could not get enough of you’. Darbyshire said: “I’m not saying that at all.”

During one tense exchange Mr Jackson said: “Your behaviour, humiliating that woman, was turning you on - wasn’t it?”

“No” said Darbyshire. He further denied telling the complainant: “I haven’t finished with you yet.” Earl Pinnock in his closing speech that one complainant had been ‘attracted’ to Darbyshire ‘from the moment he walked in the pub’.

He said: “He started flirting. They started flirting.”

Mr Pinnock told the jury that when he suggested they go for a coffee in Worcester her reply was ‘Oh my God, that’s exactly what I would like’.

He said that the defendant maintained that all that had happened in the beer garden was a kiss. Of the second complainant, Mr Pinnock said she had sent Darbyshire 'saucy photos' of her own volition.

The trial continues.