A POLICE training supervisor has been cleared of sexually assaulting two women at a boozy pub party.

Ian Williams was acquitted of two charges following a trial, although the judge told him is behaviour was "inappropriate".

Williams, 55, of Combwich, was accused of groping a rookie woman police officer's bottom and touching her breast, and also of cupping another female staff member's breast at the same retirement bash in January.

Plymouth magistrates saw CCTV of Williams, who works for Devon and Cornwall Police, sitting next to the first woman with his hand allegedly on her backside and thigh for 20 minutes.

The court heard that Williams admitted touching her, but claimed it was not sexual.

He said: "I didn't deliberately touch her bum. I didn't fancy her."

He added: "I just think it was a kind of emotional reaction because we had both been through a tough period."

Williams said his father had recently died, leaving his disabled mother, there were a lot of work pressures and the 25 guests at the party had a lot to drink.

He added: "My head was all over the place and I was not thinking clearly. I was in a bad place."

He denied prosecutor Dieter Kehler's claim that he "was trying his luck, feeling her up".

Williams said he was a "tactile" man and had only "a hazy recollection" of the incidents.

The prosecution claimed he touched the breast of the same woman when he gave her a hug goodbye.

While he was alleged to have "cupped" the second woman's breast, CCTV showed his hand on the table at the time.

District Judge Jo Matson cleared him of both sexual assaults.

Det Insp Dave Pebworth said: "Mr Williams, a member of police staff who works within the Devon and Cornwall policing area, was arrested in February 2020 following allegations of sexual assault.

"He was subsequently suspended from his role and remains so to date.

"Following the conclusion of the criminal proceedings, an internal disciplinary process will begin.

"As such, we are unable to comment any further at this time in relation to this matter."

The two women at the centre of the allegations had drunk three bottles of Prosecco between them at the leaving do, and accepted they were "tipsy and quite drunk".