Michael Lockwood: former police watchdog chief accused of raping 14-year-old girl to face trial next year
Michael Lockwood, the ex-director general of the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), is accused of nine sexual offences dating back to when he worked as a part-time lifeguard at an East Yorkshire sports centre. In June, following an investigation by Humberside Police, he was charged with three counts of rape and six counts of indecent assault - all relating to the same child, who was aged 14 at the time.
The offences are alleged to have taken place between October 1985 and March 1986, when Lockwood was aged 25 and 26. Now 64, the former police boss - who has previously denied the charges against him and indicated not guilty pleas - has been given a trial date of 1 July 2024.
When Lockwood appeared at a preliminary hearing at the Old Bailey on Wednesday (26 July), Mr Justice Jeremy Baker announced that the trial would be set for three weeks next summer, and that a further day-long pre-trial hearing would be scheduled for some time in December.
The senior judge also rejected an application from the prosecution to transfer the case to the North East circuit, where the original offences are alleged to have taken place, meaning Lockwood will face trial in London. The 64-year-old defendant has been granted continuous bail.
Lockwood resigned as director-general of the IOPC in December 2023, after it emerged he was the subject of a police probe into historical allegations of sexual abuse. He had been the first director-general appointed to lead the IOPC when it replaced the Independent Police Complaints Commission in 2018, and was also previously co-chair of the Grenfell Tower Memorial Commission.
In a statement released on 16 June, when the charges were first reported, Rosemary Ainslie, head of the Special Crime Division at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said: “After carefully considering all of the evidence provided to us by Humberside Police, we have authorised charges against Michael Lockwood, 64, for nine offences under the Sexual Offences Act 1956.
“Mr Lockwood has been charged with six counts of indecent assault and three offences of rape against a girl under the age of 16, alleged to have been committed during the 1980s. The Crown Prosecution Service reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against Mr Lockwood are active and that he has the right to a fair trial.”