Retired Detective Chief Inspector Colin Andrews, 59, actively pursued two women despite their protests and abused his power to convince them that nobody would believe their words against his.
The Humberside Police officer of more than 30 years was said to have ‘sociopathic tendencies’ and was earlier described as a ‘controlling, manipulative bully’.
After a six-week trial at Manchester Crown Court, the former homicide detective of Hessle, East Yorkshire, was convicted of witness intimidation, aggravated stalking, harassment and assault occasioning actual bodily harm and was locked up as stunned former police colleagues in the courtroom watched on.
He was also handed a five-year restraining order banning him from any contact with the two victims.
Andrews was earlier cleared of rape, another count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and common assault.
Facing the prospect of joining criminals he had convicted behind bars, Andrews had earlier sobbed as his personal difficulties were attributed to a childhood in an orphanage which left him ‘needy’ and ‘attention-seeking’.
His defence team pleaded that further punishment in the form of prison would ‘break him’ following the convictions which stem from offences committed between 2012 and last year.
The now-disgraced officer led a distinguished career solving high-profile murder cases and once even tackling a gunman to the ground – but led a bullying life outside of the force, it was said.
The court heard that since retiring in 2012 Andrews took up a civilian role as Humberside Police’s criminal justice unit manager but struggled to deal with the loss of power resulting from his new position.
Both female victims – who can’t be named for legal reasons – were pestered by Andrews when they requested he leave them alone.
One described how he sat outside her home address and phoned her 89 times after bombarding her more than 100 text messages and unwanted presents.
He was arrested on August 20 last year when a ‘mid-life crisis’ came to a head and he assaulted Good Samaritan Owen Phillips who had attempted to intervene when he saw Andrews behaving aggressively towards a woman near a park.
While dialling 999 he was slapped in the face by Andrews and called an ‘unemployed k**bhead’ – even though he was on his way to work.
Andrews then began texting the woman involved when he knew an investigation had begun - threatening to expose aspects of her private life to friends and the media if she went to the police.
Prosecuting, Owen Edwards, read a victim impact statement from a victim of Andrews’ harassment. He said: “Within the same context of talking about her own struggles, she has always struggled to understand how he could behave in the way he did but continue to hold a senior position in the police and not show signs at work.
“Even now she struggles to have faith and trust in the police and criminal justice system as a result.
“She believes he has an issue with women and he has certain sociopathic tendencies.”
Reading a second victim impact statement, he said: “He was motivated by the need to control and bully as he asserted his power and influence over her.
“She has lost sleep and still finds it difficult to come to terms with it. She just wants to live her life in peace, free from harassment, bullying, threats and intimidation.”
Mr Edwards added: “The most obvious aggravating feature is that throughout all of this the defendant was a senior police officer or senior manager employed by the police and circumstances in which he used that position to add to the distress and concern caused to both complainants by his acts of harassment and stalking.
“In both cases he was to imply and expressly state that they would never be believed and that he had the power to affect an investigation taking place and he had knowledge which allowed him to ensure that if any complaints were made they would never be believed.”
In mitigation, Tania Griffiths QC called a psychiatrist to give evidence following an assessment of Andrews.
Dr John Frazer said: “He was finding it hard because when he was in the police force in a senior position, he got a lot of emotional support and help and he lost that and that was bereavement for him. The lack of structure suddenly had an effect on him.”
Mrs Griffiths added: “Financially, this case has ruined him. This man has saved many lives. Not everyone can say that. He has put his own life on the line in order to do that. He has tackled an armed gunman. He didn’t need to do that. There are givers and takers in life and Mr Andrews is absolutely a giver.”
Sentencing, Mrs Justice Francis Patterson said that because of the offences she had no choice but to send Andrews to prison.
“You knew there was an investigation proceeding and these texts were clear attempts by you to exert control to stop her co-operation with the ongoing police investigation,” she said.
“You knew perfectly well from your great experience as a police officer what was happening and you were desperate to stop it. You acted deliberately in a manner to intimidate her – a manner that was as arrogant as it was ill-judged.
“You thought not only that you were above the law but you could manipulate the course of justice to your own ends.
“In your favour, from a difficult beginning where you were rejected by your father and your mother died and he took you to an orphanage you made a real success of yourself.
“You have risen through the ranks to the highest echelons of the police force and made valuable contributions to society.
“Before these events you were a man of outstanding good character. You were at a time of life when you should have been enjoying the fruits of your endeavours and all of those endeavours you, and you alone, have thrown away.”