Ex officer accused of ‘underage gay relationships’

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A police officers’ flat was searched after he was suspected of having underage gay relationships, a tribunal heard yesterday.

Ben Stokes, 23, a former member of the Nottingham Police claims he was discriminated against by his force after his sexuality was revealed when he started a relationship with a male teenager.

Sergeant Gail Hart, from Nottingham Police, told a colleague, Detective Inspector Ian Winton, to investigate the word “twink” in regards to an entry by Mr Stokes on a gay sating website, the tribunal heard.

DI Winton, head of the sexual exploitation investigation unit, advised a search after researching the word and deciding It’s a term for expressing a fondness for young people who can range from being 13 to 19.”

However, Paul Trickey, from the website, said the word represented gay men of between 18 and 23.

Indecent pictures were found in Mr Stokes’ flat, and he was suspended, although no accusations were made that Mr Stokes had knowledge of the pictures.

His role became restricted and he eventually resigned after the Crown Prosecution Service decided there was no case.

Mr Stokes is claiming the Sergeant Hart waged a homophobic campaign against him.