Married Folkestone PC Stephen Hughes cleared of pestering women for sex but could face retrial
PC Stephen Hughes, when he was a PCSO
A married police officer has been cleared of having inappropriate contact with three women he met through his job.
PC Stephen Hughes was alleged to have misused his position to try to persuade several women to have sex with him.
Maidstone Crown Court heard the 32-year-old officer, based in Folkestone, sent the women flirtatious and suggestive text messages.
Hughes, of Fairfax Close, Folkestone, was also accused of misusing the Kent Police computer system to carry out research on those he was attracted to and failing to investigate a reported sex offence.
He denied 10 offences of misconduct in a judicial or public office between December 2011 and June 2012 in relation to six women.
Hughes was cleared of five of those charges - three relating to inappropriate contact and two regarding misuse of the police computer - by a jury after 11 hours' deliberation.
However, the jurors were discharged by trial judge Judge Philip Statman after they were unable to reach verdicts on the remaining five counts.
The prosecution was given time to decide whether or not the officer will now face a retrial.
The court heard Hughes joined Kent Police in January 2008 after becoming a community support officer.
Despite suffering from depression, he told the jury it never affected his performance at work in the neighbourhood crime department.