Dogging copper is 'innocent'

A WESTON policeman sacked for dogging is innocent and should have his name cleared, claims his stepmum

A WESTON policeman sacked for dogging is innocent and should have his name cleared, claims his stepmum.In an exclusive interview with the Weston & Somerset Mercury, Molly Lumber described her stepson Darren Lumber as a 'devoted father' who always dreamed of being in the police force.Former Wyvern Community School pupil Darren hit the national headlines when he was dismissed from his job as a community beat officer after allegedly taking part in a sordid sex act in Sand Bay last December.A Weston mother, who has not been named, spoke out in an interview in last week's paper to say Lumber had approached her when she was out with a marine friend and asked to watch them have sex in a car park.But this week, Darren's stepmother hit back at the accusations and said how she and Darren's father Michael want the former beat bobby to receive an apology from the mother and the marine involved in the incident.Molly, aged 64, who has been married to Michael Lumber for 19 years, said:"I hope when they clear Darren's name the couple involved will personally apologise to him. This has not only ruined his career it has ruined his life."The first I heard about what was going on was when my son Kevin phoned to say he'd heard it on the radio."All the years I have known Darren he has been keen to get on in the police force. He first dreamt of being a footballer and then a policeman. He seemed so dedicated to his job. Darren was so proud of the uniform. I saw pictures of him at his passing out ceremony and he was so proud then too. "His father and I are in deep shock. I can't believe what I am seeing is my stepson. It is so out of character. I had respect for Darren and I still do."Darren has always treated me with great respect and is a devoted father. If the kids did wrong, Darren would put them right."When Darren was growing up he was very quiet. He was shy and as he got older he was always career focussed."I have always praised Darren and how well he is doing. I am not afraid to speak to the newspaper as I am not afraid to say what I think about Darren."It is heartbreaking to think this is happening to him. Knowing him as I do he must be beside himself. His wife is quite strong willed and I think naturally she will be the stronger one and get Darren through it."He is a kind, helpful, young man. He'll help anybody and it is heartbreaking to think this is being said about him."You can see by his photos he was so proud to be in that uniform. Why would he do anything to have it taken off him?"Mr Lumber, a father of three, was believed to have been accused of dogging, the act of having sex or watching people have sex in a public place, when the marine involved in the incident began bragging to friends around town.The former PC was appointed as the full-time beat officer in Kewstoke, Wick St Lawrence, Hewish and Puxton, in 2004. Mr Lumber was first suspended and an inquiry was carried out, which resulted in his dismissal on September 12.A police spokesman confirmed that no criminal charges will be brought against Mr Lumber.