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Detective warned colleague ‘do not go sleeping round’ after homicide

A detective sergeant is accused of making misogynistic comments about a murder victim telling colleagues: ‘Let this be a life lesson to you, don’t go sleeping around.’

Detective Sergeant Imran Rafiq is accused of making the ‘disgusting’ comment about mother-of-three Clair Ablewhite, 47, who was stabbed to death at her home in Nottinghamshire after ending a relationship with John Jessop, 26. The pair met on a dating website after her marriage ended.

At a misconduct hearing today, a former colleague said Rafiq made the comment during a discussion about the victim’s relationships and use of dating apps. The colleague – referred to as Miss A – said: ‘My internal reaction was disgust that that was even a factor that changed anything about those awful circumstances.’

She described the comment as ‘inappropriate’ and the office where she worked as ‘sexist, misogynistic, derogatory towards people in the office, towards victims of crimes’ adding: ‘It made me feel extremely alone.’

Rafiq, an officer with more than 20 years of experience with Nottinghamshire police, has also been accused of instructing the junior officer to ‘manipulate’ the statement of a significant witness during a separate murder investigation.

John Jessop, 26 met Clair Ablewhite on a dating website but Jessop brutally stabbed the mother-of-three her home in Nottinghamshire

John Jessop, 26 met Clair Ablewhite on a dating website but Jessop brutally stabbed the mother-of-three her home in Nottinghamshire

Detective Sergeant Imran Rafiq is accused of making a 'disgusting' comment about Ms Ablewhite's use of dating apps during her murder investigation

Detective Sergeant Imran Rafiq is accused of making a ‘disgusting’ comment about Ms Ablewhite’s use of dating apps during her murder investigation 

The officer who accused Rafiq described the East Midlands Special Operations Unit where she worked as 'sexist, misogynistic, derogatory towards people in the office, towards victims of crimes'. Pictured: A police car outside Ms Ablewhite's home

The officer who accused Rafiq described the East Midlands Special Operations Unit where she worked as ‘sexist, misogynistic, derogatory towards people in the office, towards victims of crimes’. Pictured: A police car outside Ms Ablewhite’s home

The hearing was told that while working for the East Midlands Special Operations Unit, Rafiq instructed Miss A – a graduate officer – to add words to the witness statement of the daughter of serial killer Lawrence Bierton, who was jailed for life in December for the murder of his neighbour, 72 year old Pauline Quinn. 

Bierton, then 63, was on licence at the time, having already been handed one life sentence in 1996 for murdering sisters Aileen Dudill, 79, and Elsie Gregory, 72, at their home in Rotherham, South Yorkshire.

The misconduct panel was told that it was the first statement Miss A had taken and she struggled to connect her laptop to a stylus – an electronic pen – so the witness could sign it.

Rafiq is then said to copied and pasted the statement for the witness to sign but words were somehow deleted and when they go back to the station a colleague noticed it ended with the word ‘and’.

The hearing was told Rafiq and Miss A should have arranged to go back to Worksop and complete the interview again, but it was alleged that Rafiq and another officer suggested Miss A should fill in the words but not tell anyone.

Although she felt it was wrong, Miss A said she did it because ‘my sergeant told me to.’

Rafiq is then alleged to have told another officer that the missing words were found when they pressed the ‘undo’ button – which was not true.

Miss A said he later said: ‘words to the effect of ‘scrap that’ let’s go back and take it properly’ but she was never told to go back and do it again.

Over the weekend, Miss A, described as ‘bright’ and ‘capable’ found herself ‘frazzled’ by the incident and asked to speak to someone about it.

The matter was brought to the attention of Steve Wragg, who at the time was a Detective Inspector on the force. The former DI, spoke to Miss A and told her that it was not right, and that he could either give DS Ratiq ‘a b*********’ or take it further, but said ‘it’s up to you.’

Miss A said she felt ‘really disgusted and disappointed to work for Nottinghamshire Police’ and handed in her notice on August 2, 2022, sharing her concerns about the incident during an exit interview.

Barrister John Beggs stated Miss A was left ‘confused and angry’ by the situation, especially when told not to ask DS Rafiq for future advice.

On February 6, 2022, Rafiq allegedly deleted the emails with the original and altered witness statements, Nottinghamshire Live reported.

Mr Beggs stated: ‘He covered it up not once, but twice’ in the hope ‘that this matter would never have come to light’. He said he ‘might have got away with it, as when someone pleads guilty there is a tendency to relax’ but Bierton later changed his plea, meaning the case went to trial.

Kevin Baumber, the solicitor for DS Ratiq, argued the idea of filling in the sentence was ‘a joke’ Miss A didnt’ get due to her seriousness. Miss A replied: ‘It was not a joke, neither of the officers were smiling or laughing or saying it in jest. I’m serious when it matters, I know my values but I can also have a laugh and I know when something is a joke and when it is not.’

Rafiq denies all the allegations against him. He remains suspended from the force, pending the outcome of the hearing due to last four days.

Jessop was jailed for life in January last year for the murder of Ms Ablewhite. She was stabbed and had her throat slit at her home in Colston Bassett, in Nottinghamshire, on the evening of Friday 25 February 2022. She was found by her 74 year-old father Graham Tinkley.

Ms Ablewhite, described by her three sons as ‘one in a million’ had moved to the village to start a new life and dog walking and boarding business after her marriage ended. Police investigations found she had been using a dating website when she moved to Colston Bassett, which is where she is believed to have met Jessop.

The pair started a relationship in September 2021 but Ms Ablewhite ended it February 19, 2022, amid concerns about the age difference and just days before her killed her.