Police officer being probed for sexually harassing a colleague threatened to murder her and two other officers if they came to arrest him
- James Goodchild from Stoke-on-Trent was found guilty at Hendon Magistrates
- The PC was given a conditional discharge and slapped with a restraining order
- Goodchild was called by PS Whitley and made threats against three officers
- In conversation with sergeant who had rang him Goodchild said: ‘I will kill them, I will murder them if I see them, I know where they live and what cars they drive.’
PC James Goodchild, 30, from Stoke-on-Trent, threatened to murder a colleague and two other officers if they came to arrest him
A policeman under investigation for the sexual harassment of a colleague threatened to murder her and two other officers if they came to arrest him, a court has heard.
PC James Goodchild, 30, from Stoke-on-Trent, said he would stab them if they came round his house and said he would die before going to prison.
The comments were made in a conversation with a sergeant who had rung him to discuss an upcoming gross misconduct hearing.
Westminster Magistrates Court was told there had been allegations of bullying and rape threats that he allegedly made.
Goodchild, who has been off sick from work since October 2017, was found guilty of sending by public communication network an offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing message at a trial at Hendon Magistrates’ on January 8.
At his sentencing at Westminster Magistrates he was given a conditional discharge and slapped with a restraining order for the comments he made to the sergeant.
Prosecutor Malachy Pakenham said: ‘PS Whitley rang PC Goodchild in reference to a gross misconduct investigation that was being held in relation to the defendant.
‘During the conversation the defendant made threats against police officers Lauren Hillier, Andy Creed and Alex Platt.
‘He said “I will kill them, I will murder them if I see them, I know where they live and what cars they drive. If they come to my home and arrest me they are going to get stabbed. I will not go to prison alive.”
Goodchild, pictured, has been off sick from work since October 2017 and made the comments about officers Lauren Hillier, Andy Creed and Alex Platt while on the phone with PS Whitley
‘He was arrested and questioned about remarks he made to the sergeant. There was a prepared statement in response to what had been said.
‘To the comment about ‘I will kill them’ he said ‘this is right but it’s without detail or context’.’
The prosecutor read out a victim impact statement from PC Hillier, saying: ‘Since receiving the threats I have been subjected to in my workplace I don’t feel safe, I feel severely anxious and have problems sleeping.
‘I have had to go on medication for anxiety. I am taking sleeping tablets to get to sleep at night. I find it difficult to leave my home and often find it difficult to leave my bedroom.
‘I have been unable to attend my lessons in university. I find it difficult being around lots of people.
‘The anxiety often renders me useless, worse than before I reported the sexual harassment in the first place.’
She added: ‘All my family live in Wales… my family are fearful for my safety and want me to move back home before something happens to me.
‘My colleagues keep their distance so not to be associated with me. They don’t want to seem to be be involved, so it’s a lonely existence at work.
‘I’m starting to think that the only way to feel truly safe is to leave my job so my location wouldn’t be known.’
She continued: ‘Goodchild is my ex-colleague and there’s a background to that which includes bullying and rape threats.
At his sentencing at Westminster Magistrates he was given a conditional discharge of 12 months and slapped with a restraining order for the comments he made to the sergeant
‘I feel that he doesn’t respect that he’s fortunate to get away with previous offences.’
Mr Pakenham also read out a victim impact statement from PC Andrew Creed.
He said: ‘I was concerned about this because his behaviour seemed to be escalating. My experience with James is that he’s very unpredictable.
‘I feel anxious about Lauren’s safety when she’s at home. The fact that I can’t protect her leaves me anxious.
‘I have previously heard that James doesn’t tolerate grasses. I’m concerned this will escalate and that he will seek revenge.
‘I’m genuinely concerned he will carry out a violent act on either Lauren or myself.’
Defending Goodwin, Robert Fitt said the pre-sentence report in relation to his client was ‘glowing’ and that the defendant was suffering depression at the time.
Mr Fitt said: ‘He is still off work sick. There are ongoing proceedings in relation to the police officers.
‘I am asking for a conditional discharge because if it is anything more serious it would end his career. This would cause him great financial difficulty.
‘He has been struggling with his finances for some time. He has got out a loan to pay his legal expenses.
‘He’s due up for his hearing and there’s a question as to whether he will be fit to attend.
‘This is an offence he committed in response to a telephone call that the defendant received. He didn’t make that call.’
Magistrate Vanessa Baraitser slapped Goodchild, from Stoke-on-Trent, with a restraining order despite his lawyer’s protests.
She said: ‘There’s no doubt this is a serious offence because of the nature of the threats made and the fact that the threats were made against other police officers.
‘The impact on the officers is clear from the impact statement. They are suffering genuine anxiety.
‘This is compounded by the fact that you pleaded not guilty and forced the witness to attend and give evidence at trial and be challenged.
‘I have sympathy for the fact that the conversation was a private conversation with a police sergeant in terms where that officer was working as a welfare officer for you.
‘I also take into account the considerable stress you were under and that you were diagnosed with work related depression. You have served the community for ten years and never faced disciplinary action before.
‘I’m going to give you a conditional discharge of 12 months.’
Goodchild will also have to pay £775 in costs and was given an indefinite restraining order in relation to PC Hillier and PC Creed.
Ms Baraitser said: ‘Not only is the test met but is a necessary response to this offence.’