AN EX-POLICE officer whose affair with an alleged sex abuse victim led to two trials being abandoned has been put behind bars.
Former Det Con Jonathan Cragg, had affairs with two different, vulnerable women he met while working for Blackpool Police’s specialist Aquamarine rape team.
The 42-year-old, who was in the force 19 years, met one of the woman while investigating claims that she, her daughter and her daughter’s friend had been sexually assaulted by the same man.
But Liverpool Crown Court heard Cragg, of Formby, Merseyside, soon abused his position of trust and started a sexual relationship with the woman, who later made allegations against a second man.
Kim Egerton, prosecuting, told the court both men were due to stand trial at the end of last year, but the cases were dropped after Cragg’s misconduct.
Jailing Cragg for three years, Judge John Roberts said: “This involved a gross breach of trust, not just to the public, but to the family and the victims who made the complaints.”
The judge highlighted how both men had denied the charges, but the mum of one of the alleged victims told how she was “devastated” by the news he would not stand trial.
She told how she felt angry towards Cragg and let down by the police.
Cragg admitted two counts of misconduct in a public office.
Miss Egerton told how the first charge related to a woman Cragg met when he investigated claims her daughter had been abused. Their relationship only began in September 2009, after the case concluded.
But the court heard Cragg abused his position by visiting her while he was supposed to be on duty, often dressed for work and with his warrant card.
Judge Roberts told Cragg he had wasted the public’s money by carrying out his affair while he was supposed to be working.
When he was arrested last December he admitted both affairs and resigned.
Jo Shepherd, defending, claimed Cragg’s affair was not the “principle factor” in the two trials not proceeding. But she told how Cragg’s “gross error of judgement” had led to a “catastrophic fall from grace”.
Miss Shepherd said Cragg, who was unhappily married and had lost his mum, had “completely crossed the boundaries and blurred his role”.
She told how Cragg lost his job, was now being divorced and his relationship with his son was suffering.
After the hearing, assistant chief constable Andy Cooke, of Lancashire Police, said: “Honesty and integrity are two of the most important characteristics of a police officer and John Cragg has failed to display those qualities.
“His job was to help people in a vulnerable position. Instead he abused the trust placed in him and took advantage of the situation.”