The crew of a police helicopter used the aircraft to film people sunbathing naked, naturists on a campsite and even a couple having sex in their garden as they “brazenly put on a show.”, a jury has been told.
Prosecutors outlined details of the South Yorkshire Police’s helicopter crew’s activities as the trial began of two police officers and two pilots at Sheffield Crown Court.
Richard Wright QC, prosecuting, told a jury: “They used the unique viewing position afforded to them, together with the powerful video camera with which the helicopter is equipped, to video members of the public engaged in private activities in a gross violation of their privacy.
“On three separate occasions they filmed a total of five people sunbathing naked in private and, on another occasion, they filmed a couple having sexual intercourse in their own garden.”
As Mr Wright opened the case for the prosecution, the jury was shown graphic footage, shot from the helicopter, of a couple having sex on the patio of their suburban house.
The eight minute long film features a naked woman – who waves at the aircraft at one point – and a man wearing only a Manchester United football shirt. The pair are engaging in a range of sex acts and sexual positions.
Playing the footage, Mr Wright said: “As you will see in a moment, the couple who were filmed on this occasion were very much aware that they were being observed, indeed they seem to relish it.”
The prosecutor explained how the couple featured were friends of Adrian Pogmore, 50, a police officer and an air observer on the helicopter, who has pleaded guilty to offences of misconduct in a public office.
The four men on trial – Matthew Lucas, 42, Lee Walls, 47, Matthew Loosemore, 45, and Malcolm Reeves, 64 – all deny the same offence.
Mr Wright told the jury: “The reason that this couple are so happy to be recorded engaging in sexual intercourse is that they are friends of Mr Pogmore and shared his sexual interest in the swinging scene.
“It was clearly, therefore, no coincidence that the helicopter orbits around their garden while they brazenly put on a show.”
The prosecutor said: “You may hope that the police helicopter is chasing down criminals and keeping the community safe.
“You may never imagine that in fact it is being used to film a pair of swingers in the throes of sexual passion for the entertainment of the crew.”
Continuing his opening of the case, Mr Wright said: “How then does the prosecution say that we can prove that these recordings are not simply the product of one swinging and sex-obsessed air observer, Adrian Pogmore, but were made with the connivance of the other members of the crew?”
Pogmore, of Guilthwaite Crescent, Whiston, Rotherham, has admitted four charges of misconduct in a public office.
Mr Wright said the other four men deny the charges and, “in short”, blame Pogmore for what happened.
Reeves, of Farfield Avenue, Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, denies two counts.
Walls, of Southlands Way, Aston, Sheffield, denies one count.
Loosemore, of Briar Close, Auckley, Doncaster, denies one count.
Lucas, of Coppice Rise, Chapeltown, Sheffield, denies three counts.