'Bullying' police sergeant jailed for physical and sexual assault

Jonathan Allwright
Jonathan Allwright

A disgraced “bullying” Lancashire police sergeant who physically and sexually assaulted a woman has been jailed for six years.

Jonathan Allwright was told by a judge that he had “exercised psychological control and manipulation” of the victim and had been sexually demanding, expecting her to ‘provide a service’ to him.

His victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said “sex had become his God” and his lust had made him cruel.

His treatment of the woman was described by Judge Hilary Manley as “a campaign of violence and coercive behaviour.”

Allwright was a highly respected policeman but unknown to his colleagues, behind the scenes he was aggressive and violent.

Despite eventually writing “self pitying” letters to his victim confessing to his violent behaviour he pleaded not guilty to the allegations and stood trial last summer.

That trial collapsed after two weeks when he challenged the integrity of the police officers’ evidence, claiming it had been fabricated, which then had to be investigated.

Those allegations were “spurious and concocted. It was you who was the liar all along,” said Judge Manley.

Allwright, a former Royal Military policeman, was due to face a re-trial last week but at the last minute changed his plea to guilty to three offences of assault causing actual bodily harm, one of common assault and indecent assault.

Allwright, 49, of Manor Court, Longton, has been suspended from duty since the allegations came to light and is expected to face a disciplinary panel next month.

His police service included dealing with traffic fatalities and he used to be a Freemason but resigned five years ago as he told the court that some aspects clashed with his Christian faith.

As well as jailing him, the judge ordered him to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.

Outside court his devoted wife broke down in tears.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that the offences only came to light when police spoke to the victim about an unrelated matter and she revealed what had been happening.

Judge Manley said that the first assault offence occurred after the woman ran away in terror of being attacked and fractured her wrist.

The second offence involved him pushing her down a set of stairs leaving her with a whiplash injury and on another occasion he punched her repeatedly.

The sex attack involved him pinning her down on a bed, holding her hands above her head and using his knees to force open her legs despite her asking him to stop. It was only when she gave up struggling and lay limp that he suddenly seemed to come to his senses and stopped.

She knew he was held in high esteem at work and told no-one what had been happening, but she finally had enough of his behaviour after he shoved her so hard she fell backwards onto the floor.

It was after that he began bombarding her with letters and gifts “ostensibly confessing his faults. Those letters make for disturbing and informative reading, laden with self-pity and self-flagellation,” said Judge Manley.

Despite the letters, he stood trial last summer and the judge said: “You have sought to twist and wriggle your way out of these crimes.”

During his trial he accused police officers of fabricating evidence.

Judge Manley said that his wife had told how he had never been violent to her and he had completed a church and bible based 12-step recovery programme.

That involved him making a moral inventory which the judge said she found difficult to reconcile with him having a trial and only pleading guilty at the 11th hour.

The judge told him a pre-sentence report “shows you accept limited responsibility and suggest you have precious little recollection of events. There appears to be an element of victim blaming.”

She added that she believed his limited remorse was “due to you surveying the ruins of your career and facing a lengthy prison sentence. This is not the same as remorse.”

The judge said that “you as a police officer of all people” able to exercise discipline at work should have been able to do so out of work. “Like all abusers you lack empathy.”

Michael Brady, prosecuting, had told the court that offences did not reflect “all his boorish, bullying and over-bearing behaviour.”

In an impact statement the woman said: “The emotional impact of the abuse never seems to leave me” and described the judicial process as “a living nightmare.”

Raquel Simpson, defending, said that Allwright has never been in trouble and was a serving police officer who will lose this job which will affect his pension. His wife said he had not behaved in such a way with her.

Ms Simpson said: “He has lost his good character and lost his standing in the community. He is embarrassed and remorseful for his behaviour. He has been working with the church and in the wider community.”