‘Predatory’ Herts police officer jailed after 11-year relationship with vulnerable woman
- Credit: Archant
A Herts police officer who had a sexual relationship with a vulnerable woman he met through his job has been sentenced to 15 months in prison.
Nicholas Musto – of Docking Road in Hunstanton – was sentenced today at Peterborough Crown Court, in the culmination of the case brought following an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct.
Their investigation – which started in October 2018, after a referral from Hertfordshire Constabulary – focused on a relationship the officer had been having with the victim for 11 years.
PC Musto spent 25 years with the force, and lied about the nature of this relationship when concerns were previously investigated in 2013.
The investigation was completed on June 13, 2019, and a case file was sent to the Crown Prosecution Service – which made the decision to charge the now 51-year-old with misconduct in public office. He pleaded guilty.
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Assistant Chief Constable Bill Jephson said: “This has been a distressing matter in which a vulnerable victim of crime has been abused in the most appalling manner by someone in a position of trust.
“As a force, we expect the highest standards of conduct and will always take action when those standards are not met.
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“In this case PC Musto not only betrayed the trust of his victim, his predatory behaviour has had a damaging impact on public confidence in policing which is totally unacceptable.”
Musto was initially sentenced to 18 months but this was reduced to 15 months due to his early guilty plea.
After he was charged, IOPC regional director Sarah Green said: “Under compelling evidence against him PC Musto changed his plea to guilty.
“By admitting his guilt, PC Musto acknowledged he wilfully abused his position as a police officer to form a relationship with a vulnerable woman he met through the course of his duties.
“Any officer who abuses their position of trust and power by engaging in sexual relationships can have no place in policing. We are working hard to ensure police forces refer all allegations of abuse of position to us, and we will continue to provide guidance and knowledge to help identify this abuse of trust as early as possible.”
Now that the matter has been dealt with at court, PC Musto will face a special case hearing.