A JURY unanimously acquitted a Gwent Police sergeant yesterday of sexually assaulting two prisoners and committing misconduct in a public office by having sex on duty.

Richard Evans, 47, of The Highway, New Inn, always denied two charges of misconduct, and three of sexual assault at Ystrad Mynach police station between 2003 and 2013. The charges related to three separate women.

On the final day of his trial at Cardiff Crown Court, the seven men and five women of the jury unanimously cleared him of all charges.

Sgt Evans, a police officer for 28 years, sobbed as the verdicts were read out.

The charges included allegations by a woman who was brought into the police station as a detainee, and claimed Sgt Evans made references to sex acts after looking at her piercings and pushed a blanket off her shoulders while she was trying to put on a T-shirt over her bra.

Another arrested woman who was brought to the station had claimed Sgt Evans stared at her chest and ran his hands down her body as he put a T-shirt on her.

She alleged that he later grabbed and kissed her, and she said she felt “violated and powerless”, the jury heard during Judge Eleri Rees’ summing up.

A third woman claimed Sgt Evans had consensual sex with her in a darkened cleaners’ room at the police station and some time previously had kissed her in the back of a police van, which was also consensual.

Sgt Evans denied the allegations and said he had volunteered to get two of the women T-shirts after they were asked to remove their hoodies, which had strings attached as part of routine checks to prevent prisoners harming themselves.

He said the second woman had asked him for a hug and he had agreed, and that he generally tried to use humour to put people at their ease when brought to the station.

But he denied that anything sexual was involved.

He also denied having consensual sex with the third woman, and said he had only taken the woman to the cleaners’ room to get her a drink of water.

Sgt Evans was suspended by Gwent Police when the allegations came to light last January, having been a custody sergeant since 2003.

The court heard he had dealt with about 25,000 detainees and even joined relief work in Asia after the 2004 tsunami.

Deputy Chief Constable Craig Guildford said a misconduct investigation would continue.

“We accept the verdict of the court,” he said.“Society expects the highest standards from the police service, and the vast majority of Gwent officers and staff work hard to achieve these standards.”