A jury has gone out to consider its verdict in the trial of convicted sex offender and former police officer Kevin Dwyer.
The 41-year-old, of Sunny Bank Close in Newton-le-Willows, faces one charge of exposure following an encounter with a woman as she walked home alone in Newtown from a night out in Chester in the early hours of July 5 last year.
The eight men and four women comprising the jury retired for their deliberations at 3.15pm on the fourth day of the trial at Chester Crown Court on Thursday (May 26).
But before sending them out, Recorder Guy Mathieson warned them that it would be ‘wrong’ to assume Dwyer’s guilt on the basis of his 12 previous convictions.
“It is just a fact to put in the balance,” he said.
“The prosecution say it's a pretty big fact, but the defence say it has to be put to one side.”
The trial earlier heard that the former Greater Manchester Police constable pleaded guilty last February to two counts of voyeurism and 10 counts of outraging public decency over a seven-month period between October 1, 2013, and May 15, 2014.
He secretly filmed up the skirts and in between the legs of women on nights out and recorded strangers – including one couple having sex – in their homes through gaps in their curtains.
But Dwyer, who strenuously denies the complainant’s allegation that he was pleasuring himself in his car and intentionally showed her his penis, told members of the jury he committed those offences because he had ‘a very unhealthy sexual fetish’ which got the better of him during that period of his life.
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The judge suggested the 999 call – during which the complainant claimed a ‘curb-crawler’ had exposed himself to her and which the jury later listened to again on their request – offers the ‘best assessment’ of how drunk the complainant was.
“Was she clear or is she slurring all over the place?” he asked.
Outlining the ‘central decision’ facing the jury, Recorder Mathieson posed the question: “Are you sure Kevin Dwyer turned up that night in Chester up to his old tricks cruising around looking for his latest victim or is he right that nothing really happened and the complainant must have misunderstood or jumped to the wrong conclusion or lied.”
The jury will continue its deliberations on Friday.