Pilot flying South Yorkshire Police helicopter while it was filming couple having sex a 'taxi driver' for other officers, court told

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A pilot and former soldier who was flying a helicopter as a police officer filmed a couple having sex in their garden has told a court he was just a "taxi driver" for the officers on board and did not know what was happening.

Matthew Loosemore, 45, was giving evidence to a jury which has heard how he was piloting the South Yorkshire Police helicopter when it filmed a couple having sex in a range of positions on their patio.

Sheffield Crown Court has been told how Pc Adrian Pogmore, who was one of two police observers on board, has admitted arranging the filming with the couple, who he knew through a shared interest in wife-swapping.

Father-of-three Loosemore admitted he heard an "exclamation" in the cockpit and glanced at the camera screen where he saw "some nudity".

He said his reaction was to immediately fly the helicopter away and continue with the task of looking for nuisance motorbikes.

Loosemore said his role in the air support unit "was as a civilian taxi driver" for police air observers.

He said he had no idea that Pogmore had recorded the couple having sex.

The defendant said he did not know that Pogmore was "into swinging or voyeurism" at the time of the flight - in July 2008 - and did not know that police colleagues referred to Pogmore as the "team deviant".

Asked about what he could have seen if the helicopter was 600ft from the garden, he said: "You can't make out any detail from 600ft."

Loosemore showed the jury a map he had made of the movements of the helicopter at the time when the footage of the couple was shot with the zoomed-in camera.

He said he had done this from the data recorded by the camera and had calculated that the closest ground distance the aircraft got to the married couple's garden was 1,017ft away.

The defendant told the jury how he joined the Army when he was 17 and later became an Army helicopter pilot, flying in a range of environments, including the Balkans and from aircraft carriers.

He left the military in 2002 and had been flying with South Yorkshire Police for 18 months at the time of the flight involving the couple.

Loosemore is on trial with fellow pilot Malcolm Reeves, 64, and police officers Lee Walls, 47 and Matthew Lucas, 43.

They all deny misusing the South Yorkshire Police helicopter by using it to film people sunbathing naked and the couple having sex.

As well as the video of the couple having sex in their garden, the jury has seen footage of a woman sunbathing naked in her garden, another couple sitting naked on sun-loungers and two naturists sitting naked outside a caravan on a camp site, all dating from between 2007 and 2012.

Loosemore in only charged in relation to the incident involving the couple.

Pogmore, 51, of Guilthwaite Crescent, Whiston, Rotherham, has admitted four counts of misconduct in a public office and all four defendants claim Pogmore was solely to blame.

Reeves, of Farfield Avenue, Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, denies two counts of the same charge.

Walls, of Southlands Way, Aston, Sheffield, denies one count.

Loosemore, of Briar Close, Auckley, Doncaster, denies one count.

Lucas, of Coppice Rise, Chapeltown, Sheffield, denies three counts.

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