A Hertfordshire police officer has been found not guilty of raping a woman at her home following a trial.

David Stansbury, who was accused of sexually assaulting a woman in her home in Plymouth, Devon, was unanimously acquitted by the jury today (April 3).

Sergeant Stansbury, of Ilminster, Somerset, denied three counts of rape between October 23 and November 30, 2009, in a trial that lasted three weeks.

He was found not guilty after a jury deliberated for six hours and 48 minutes, with Sgt Stansbury clearly emotional as he left the courtroom.

Bristol Crown Court had heard that Sgt Stansbury, who was an officer with Devon and Cornwall Police at the time, had been called to the woman’s address and took her statement after a suspect had tried to smash her door in.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: David Stansbury.David Stansbury. (Image: Matt Keeble/PA)

The alleged victim said he returned to her home in the days following her original 999 call, when she was drunk and had drugs in her home.

The allegations against Sgt Stansbury were made when the woman was in the back of a police van after being arrested at a disturbance in 2020.

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.

Sgt Stansbury told the court that he did not rape the woman and insisted he does not remember her or the attempted break-in at her home, saying his accuser had "told a complete lie that’s completely ruined my life".

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.