A female police officer has been accused of starting a sexual relationship and extracting £100,000 from a grieving octogenarian she met after taking on an official role during an investigation into his son’s murder.
Charles Edward Foulkes showered the officer with gifts and gave her large sums of cash to the distress of his three grown-up daughters, it is claimed.
Now, two years after his death, his family are suing West Mercia Police claiming their human rights were breached by the force’s failure to stop the officer, known only as Pc ‘X’, from carrying on the “inappropriate” relationship with their “vulnerable” father.
Mr Foulkes’ daughters Carla Kelly, Michele Pugh and Charmaine Jones have brought separate civil proceedings against the police force.
In a writ lodged at the High Court, say Pc X was appointed as a family liaison officer after their 49-year-old brother Colin was murdered with an axe in Shropshire in 2001. At the time, Mr Foulkes was 81.
Mr Foulkes’ housebound wife Dorothy, who was suffering from a terminal illness, was made to suffer “great distress” by Pc X’s behaviour, and referred to the police officer as her husband’s “bit of fluff”, it adds.
After the murder Mr Foulkes received his son’s £180,000 estate and his wife died a few months later.
The writ claims Pc X “took advantage of Charles Foulkes’ vulnerabilities” and “abused her position of trust and inappropriately befriended him” in a relationship which lasted into the man’s nineties.
It adds that she “emotionally manipulated” Mr Foulkes, who was 45 years older than her, “causing him to give her substantial sums of money and presents and to spend large sums of money on her on lunches and day trips”.
The official document contained copies of text messages allegedly sent by Pc X to Mr Foulkes in which expressed her love, with one describing him as a “very special man”, and followed by 14 “kisses”.
One text said: “You have made my life special in so many ways.”
Pc X even took Mr Foules to the scene of his son’s murder against the wishes of senior officers, the family alleges, and refused to allow other family members to attend an ash scattering ceremony in what they claim was part of a campaign to “isolate” the family and make the widower dependent on her.
The High Court was told Mr Foulkes paid £10,000 into Pc X’s bank account in September 2008, followed by £1,500 a month later.
Mr Foulkes – a previously frugal man – also withdrew large sums of cash from his bank account between 2004 and his death.
“It is averred that in total Pc X wrongfully misapporopriated approximately £100,000 from Mr Foulkes over the 10 years from 2001 until his death in 2011,” says the writ.
It alleges that Pc X received a silver pendant and an antique wooden trunk from Mr Foulkes, and that they regularly dined together in expensive restaurants, pubs and hotels, and that they regularly took day trips, including a visit to Aberystwyth in summer 2004.
“Pc X maintained a relationship with Mr Foulkes from 2001 until the time of [his] death in 2011 despite being told by … senior police officers not to do so,” the writ alleges.