A jury has retired to consider verdicts in the trial of a Hertfordshire police officer accused of raping a woman following an attempted burglary at her home.

Sergeant David Stansbury, who worked in Welwyn Hatfield and Hertsmere, is alleged to have abused his position of trust as a serving police officer and sexually assaulted a woman at her home in Plymouth, Devon.

The 43-year-old, of Ilminster, Somerset, has pleaded not guilty to three counts of rape between October 23 and November 30, 2009.

He was an officer with Devon and Cornwall Police at the time and now serves with Hertfordshire Police, but is currently suspended from duty.

Bristol Crown Court heard that had been called to the woman’s address and took her statement after a suspect had tried to smash her door in.

The alleged victim said she believes the first of three assaults started within days of her original 999 call, when she was drunk and had drugs in her home.

He spotted that she had drugs in the house, told her that she should not be doing that and told her “I’m the law” before he raped her, she claimed.

Watford Observer: David Stansbury.David Stansbury. (Image: PA)

The allegations against Stansbury only came to light when the woman was in the back of a police van after being arrested at a disturbance in 2020 and told the officers she had been assaulted.

She told the officers she did not go to the police earlier because she was afraid that as a drug and alcohol user her family would be taken away.

Stansbury told the court that he did not rape the woman and said he does not remember her or the attempted break-in at her home.

Herts police have confirmed that Stansbury had worked within the North Watford Safer Neighbourhood Team. In his first five months, from late 2012, he covered Leggatts before swapping to Woodside.

Stansbury had also worked as an intervention officer, responding to 999 calls in the Hertsmere area, and most recently worked within Welwyn Hatfield’s Safer Neighbourhood Team.

Judge William Hart sent the jury out to consider their verdicts in the case on Tuesday afternoon.

The trial continues.