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Police and CPS defend how Bishop’s Stortford ‘sexual predator of the worst kind’ Wayne Rogers was investigated and tried before he was finally convicted

Hertfordshire police and the Crown Prosecution Service have defended how they investigated and indicted transvestite predator Wayne Rogers before he was finally convicted.

This week, the force paid tribute to the bravery of the 20-year-old man who was sexually assaulted in Bishop’s Stortford by the 48-year-old Plaw Hatch Close resident and hairdresser.

After Rogers was sentenced to 10 years in jail at St Albans Crown Court on Tuesday (May 28), the officer who led the investigation said: “I am pleased that a strong sentence has been handed down… and that this man is now behind bars.”

Wayne Rogers has been jailed for 10 years. Picture: Hertfordshire Constabulary
Wayne Rogers has been jailed for 10 years. Picture: Hertfordshire Constabulary

Detective Inspector Justine Jenkins, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, added: “Rogers’ actions have had a devastating impact on the victim, his family and the wider community. No sentence will ever make up for what they have had to endure.

“I’d like to commend the victim for the bravery and dignity he has shown throughout the case, and I am grateful it has now reached a conclusion.”

She continued: “We know that male victims are often reluctant to report sexual offences. I hope this provides some reassurance that we take these cases seriously and will always provide full support and seek to bring offenders to justice.”

Wayne Rogers outside court
Wayne Rogers outside court

At the end of his trial last September, Rogers was found guilty by a jury of assault by penetration, two offences of sexual assault and two offences of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent.

He wore fake breasts and a blonde wig when he attacked the drunken, vulnerable young man in the early hours of Sunday September 11, 2022.

During the hearing, prosecutor Mark Trafford KC made it clear the assault was not an isolated offence: “He [Rogers] preys at night and in the early hours of the morning on young men. He goes out in his car and he picks on, and picks up, drunken young men he finds in and around Bishop’s Stortford and he abuses them.”

When Rogers was convicted, the judge told him he had ruined his young victim’s life and described him as “a sexual predator of the worst kind”.

The junction of South Road and London Road, close to where a man was sexually assaulted in December 2019
The junction of South Road and London Road, close to where a man was sexually assaulted in December 2019

The attack happened just three months after Rogers had walked free at the end of THREE consecutive, separate trials where he was accused of offences against other men.

In the first, he was accused of sexually assaulting a man in his 30s in the South Road area in the early hours of Saturday December 21, 2019.

However, it was not until June 2020 – six months later – that Herts police said “the alleged suspect was a male who was posing as a female at the time of the incident” and appealed for witnesses and anyone “approached in similar circumstances” to come forward.

Police and forensics at Wayne Rogers’ home in Plaw Hatch Close
Police and forensics at Wayne Rogers’ home in Plaw Hatch Close

At his first trial in 2022, for the December 2019 incident, Rogers claimed the oral sex was consensual and was found not guilty of sexual assault.

At the end of his second trial, Rogers was found not guilty of causing a second man, who thought he was a woman, to engage in sexual activity without consent.

And a third jury cleared him of coercive control in an intimate or family relationship with another man.

When he was finally convicted after a FOURTH trial, the Indie challenged Hertfordshire Constabulary about why its first and second appeals after the South Road attack in December 2019 did not include a description of the offender and specifically did not indicate that the attacker was male.

It took almost six months for Det Insp Jenkins to confirm the suspect was a man, posing as a woman, and again ask for information. By that time, Rogers had already been arrested and charged.

We asked if the force’s concerns about “hurtful comments or actions” targeting the trans community hampered the release of more timely and effective appeals for new evidence which may have secured the conviction of Rogers and ultimately taken him off the streets – before he attacked another young man.

We also challenged the CPS over the decision to conduct THREE separate trials rather than present all the evidence to one jury.

A spokesperson for Hertfordshire Constabulary said of its probe into the December 2019 South Road attack: “This was a highly complex, sensitive and challenging investigation into an incident with very unusual circumstances.

“Understandably, supporting the victim and his needs was always at the forefront of our minds throughout, as with any investigation.

“We released timely information as was necessary to inform the public and complete an effective investigation.

“Media appeals, leaflet drops and posters yielded valuable, independent information that assisted our extensive investigations, which were already ongoing behind the scenes into a possible suspect.

“This led to sufficient evidence for the CPS to bring charges. Ultimately, he was not found guilty in court.

“When Rogers offended in 2022, we again launched an extensive investigation which has led to his conviction.

“The case was being constantly reviewed and, at all stages, we have been driven by investigative considerations, including the need to seek independent, unbiased witnesses’ accounts to safeguard the integrity of the investigation and support victims. We pay tribute to those who did come forward.”

Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor Olivia Rose said: “Having reviewed the facts and the law relating to these [first three] cases, it was not appropriate to join the charges for the offences and therefore separate trials took place.

“The Crown Prosecution Service’s function is not to decide whether a person is guilty of a criminal offence, but to make fair, independent and objective assessments about whether it is appropriate to present charges for a jury to consider, and we respect their decision in these cases.”

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