A former police officer who raped a mother after she was unable to pay a fine has been jailed nearly 40 years after the offence.
David Lomax, 83, of Esher Grove, Waterlooville, was serving as a warrant officer with West Yorkshire Police when he visited the woman at her home in Leeds in October 1978 over the non-payment of a fine.
Leeds Crown Court heard how, when it became clear that the woman did not have sufficient funds to pay the money owed, the defendant threatened her with custody and told her that her young daughter might be taken into care.
He then offered an ‘escape route’, before taking the woman upstairs and raping her in her own bedroom.
Although the incident was reported by the victim at the time, jurors were told how police were unable to charge Lomax due to a lack of evidence.
On Friday, he sat motionless in the dock as he was told that a jury had convicted him by majority verdicts of single counts of rape and misconduct in a public office.
Friends and family who sat in the public gallery burst into tears as Lomax was handed a jail sentence of four years and nine months.
His Honour Judge Mairs, sentencing, said that the defendant's job as a warrant officer was one of ‘some power, some responsibility, and some discretion’.
He added: ‘I am quite satisfied that you believed that your position as a police officer gave you not only power but impunity as well.’
Of the incident, the judge added: ‘You threatened her with custody and her daughter being taken into care, and offered an escape route.
‘That escape route was to satisfy your sexual needs.’
He added that the victim showed great courage in reporting the incident at the time, and that Lomax had lied in order to avoid being charged.
The judge said: ‘You probably thought that you had got away with it, while your victim has spent 40 years suffering as a result of what you have done.
‘The effects of rape live long and scar long.’
He added that the length of sentence was ‘tempered markedly by your age and the vulnerability of your health’.
In a statement that was summarised in court, the victim told how she ‘cried for a week’ after police officers visited her house to interview her about the defendant, as the experience brought back such bad memories.
Kitty Colley, defending, said that Lomax's decades of service in the police force should be factored in when considering the length of sentence.
Following the sentencing, West Yorkshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams said: ‘Lomax enjoyed a position of trust in society but he broke that trust in a horrific way.
‘It is important though that his previous employment doesn't overshadow the excellent work that our officers put in to bring him to trial and to get justice for the victim - which shows that we will pursue offenders, whatever their age, perceived standing in society or the passage of time since the offence occurred.’