Police officer in force helicopter passenger seat 'did not know' colleague was filming couple having sex, court told

A police officer who was in a force helicopter when a couple was filmed having sex in their garden has told a jury he did not see their antics and did not know his colleague was recording them.

(L-R) Lee Walls, Malcolm Reeves, Matthew Lucas and Matthew Loosemore are all accused of participating in the filming of naked sunbathers while employed as members of a South Yorkshire Police helicopter crew

Matthew Lucas, 43, admitted he was in the front passenger seat of the South Yorkshire Police helicopter when footage was shot of the couple having sex in a number of positions on their patio.

The 11-minute long footage has been shown to a jury at Sheffield Crown Court on a number of occasions during the trial of Lucas and three of his colleagues.

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Giving evidence on Thursday, the officer said he had very little recollection of the flight but did recall seeing a naked woman with a man in a Manchester United shirt for a "matter of seconds".

Former police constable Adrian Pogmore, 51, has admitted to being involved in the filming of four videos of members of the public having sex or sunbathing naked on private land using a South Yorkshire Police helicopter

He said his colleague in the back seat of the chopper, PC Adrian Pogmore, must have done the filming.

The jury has heard how Pogmore, who has pleaded guilty to misconduct in a public office, knew the couple through his involvement in the "swinging scene" and admitted that he had had sex with the woman.

Asked by his barrister, Paul Greaney QC, if he saw "any of the actual sex", Lucas said: "I did not".

He said Pogmore was operating the camera and the crew was concentrating on searching nearby waste ground for nuisance motorbikes.

Former police constable Adrian Pogmore, 51, has admitted to being involved in the filming of four videos of members of the public having sex or sunbathing naked on private land using a South Yorkshire Police helicopter

Lucas said he cannot recall exactly what he said at the time he glimpsed the naked woman but agreed it was something like: "Oh my god, Poggy."

He said he then went back to concentrating on the nuisance bike operation.

Lucas was asked by Mr Greaney: "Did you do anything at all to assist Adrian Pogmore in what he was doing?"

He replied: "Absolutely not".

Lucas said: "I wish that I had double checked that the camera had been moved away from the couple and monitored what he (Pogmore) was doing."

The officer said he had been on flights before which had "stumbled across" naked people.

He recalled one incident over Barnsley when the helicopter flew over a couple having sex in a field.

And he told the jury that during a search in the Dore area of Sheffield the helicopteronce spotted a woman sunbathing topless.

Lucas was asked about a comment he made that Pogmore had been the "team deviant".

The officer told the court this was because they knew he had engaged in naturist sunbathing and "historically" he had been a member of a club called La Chambre, in Sheffield.

He said this was all in the context of "banter" within the team.

Asked by Mr Greaney: "Did you ever think he would bring his extra curricular activities into the helicopter", Lucas said: "Absolutely not".

He said: "It was just a lifestyle he chose to do that was different from mine.

"Nothing about his conduct at work would lead me to believe he would bring any part of it to his workplace."

The court heard Lucas became a police officer in 1999 and joined the air support unit in 2003.

He has received commendations, including one for saving the life of one of the victims in the so-called Edlington incident in 2009, when two young boys were viciously attacked by two other youngsters.

Lucas is on trial with fellow police officer Lee Walls, 47, and two pilots - Matthew Loosemore, 45, and Malcolm Reeves, 64.

They all deny misusing the South Yorkshire Police helicopter by using it to film people sunbathing naked and the couple having sex.

As well as the video of the couple having sex in their garden, the jury has seen footage of a woman sunbathing naked in her garden, another couple sitting naked on sun-loungers and two naturists sitting naked outside a caravan on a camp site.

Lucas was in the aircraft for three of the four incidents, which took place between 2007 and 2012.

Pogmore, 51, of Guilthwaite Crescent, Whiston, Rotherham, has admitted four counts of misconduct in a public office and all four defendants claim Pogmore was solely to blame.

He has been described by prosecutors as "a swinging and sex-obsessed air observer".

Reeves, of Farfield Avenue, Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, denies two counts of the same charge.

Walls, of Southlands Way, Aston, Sheffield, denies one count.

Loosemore, of Briar Close, Auckley, Doncaster, denies one count.

Lucas, of Coppice Rise, Chapeltown, Sheffield, denies three counts.

Cross-examining Lucas, Richard Wright QC, prosecuting, said: "The truth is that you knew exactly what was going on that day."

Lucas replied: "No, I didn't."

Mr Wright said: "You did all have a laugh about it, participating in it, egging each other on, thinking no-one would know any better."

Lucas replied: "Absolutely not."

Mr Wright put it to the officer that he must have seen what was going on on the patio when the helicopter was pointing straight at the couple for some time.

Lucas said that if the helicopter was 600ft away, he would not have not have been able to make out "exactly what was happening".

He also said that as the footage recorded that the helicopter was between 0.1 and 0.2 nautical miles away from the house, the aircraft could actually have been up to 1,200ft away from the garden as the camera zoomed-in.

Mr Wright also asked Lucas whether the helicopter would have sat over the wasteland for 10 minutes with "absolutely nothing happening".

He said this was "absolutely normal" and the chopper was on a "dissuading patrol".

The trial was adjourned and will continue on Friday.