Officer’s thanks as drug charge ‘nightmare’ ends

Date:16th June 2011.'Mark Carter, leaving Leeds Crown Court after his hearing.
Date:16th June 2011.'Mark Carter, leaving Leeds Crown Court after his hearing.

BIRKENSHAW police officer Mark Carter has thanked those who supported him through his “living nightmare” after the last of a series of charges he was facing was dropped.

PC Carter, 28, of Station Lane, Birkenshaw – a former Mr Gay UK – was due to face trial later this year on charges of possessing stanozolol, an anabolic steroid. But on Monday the allegation was dropped.

Peter Mann, head of the complex casework unit at West Yorkshire Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Having carefully considered expert evidence, we are satisfied that Mr Carter’s use of the drug was for a medicinal purpose within the terms of the Medicines Act 1968, and as such have taken steps to bring the case to an end.”

However, PC Carter, who was based in Huddersfield, remains suspended from duty.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “PC Mark Carter remains suspended at this time.

“This case involves an allegation relating to the possession of steroids. A decision regarding disciplinary action remains under consideration.”

PC Carter appeared at Leeds Crown Court charged with sexually assaulting three men and raping a fourth while on a Christmas night out with colleagues.

He was cleared of two rape charges and two charges of sexual assault. The jury failed to reach a verdict on another sexual assault charge and the case was not proceeded with.

This week, PC Carter said: “After nearly two years of wait, I have now been found not guilty of all the charges held against me.

“I would like to thank all those who have stood by me – my legal team, West Yorkshire Police Federation, my family and friends and my work colleagues. These people have supported me in what can only be described as a living nightmare.”

Giving evidence in the trial he spoke of the “devastating” impact the allegations of rape and sexual assault had on his life. He admitted that on the night out he had “stupidly” drunk too much, but denied carrying out the assaults.

PC Carter, who came out in 2005, is a former holder of the Mr Gay UK title and has been a champion of gay rights, and has been involved in numerous charity events.