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Reading Crown Court: senior police officer from Newbury cleared of indecent exposure

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A police superintendent charged with protecting Britain’s nuclear deterrent has been cleared of indecently exposing himself to a female cyclist.

The woman, who can not be identified, said Supt Chris Yates, who lives in Newbury, stalked her in his car before committing a sex act on a rural road near Chieveley.

The veteran officer, who provides armed protection at Aldermaston’s Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), vehemently denied her allegations.

Senior police officer cleared of indecent exposure.
Senior police officer cleared of indecent exposure.

The woman said she was riding her bicycle when she noticed a stationary black Renault Clio up ahead in a narrow country lane in Bagnor.

Before she could overtake, it pulled away, Reading Crown Court heard on Thursday.

She continued on through Winterbourne and, as she left the village, noticed the same black Clio, once again stationary in the road before her.

Once again, it pulled away as she neared it.

The woman told the court she found this disconcerting and was nervous when she saw the car a third time – this time in a layby in School Road, Chieveley.

She told jurors she then saw a man with his shorts pulled down to mid-thigh, committing a sex act while staring at her as she cycled past.

The woman called her boyfriend, who came to collect her.

The pair returned to find the car still there, but no sign of the man, so they photographed the number plate and alerted police.

Under cross examination from Aneurin Brewer, for Supt Yates, the woman insisted she was not mistaken about what the man had been doing.

Fifty-seven-year-old Supt Yates, who lives in a flat in Newbury town centre, denied a single charge of committing indecent exposure on May 6 last year.

He said he had been driving to exercise, but had to repeatedly stop the car because of a then-undiagnosed joint problem which caused leg pain.

The court heard he had been a police officer for 37 years and was in charge of a team at AWE Aldermaston; he had spent time in London CID and had received a long service and good conduct award, plus a special chief constable’s commendation.

He explained that he had been suffering from problems urinating which manifested as urgency and difficulty in emptying his bladder.

Supt Yates denied his shorts had been pulled down and explained he had been shaking himself after urinating because of his health condition.

He had since been diagnosed with an enlarged prostate, the court heard.

John Carmichael, prosecuting, pointed out that, days after being interviewed by police, Supt Yates had gone to his GP and suggested he was doing so to cover his actions.

He said: “You were out and about, saw a pretty young woman on a bicycle and you were aroused.

“You did something out of character.

“Were you under a great deal of pressure at work?”

Jurors took just over an hour to acquit Supt Yates of the single charge.

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