THE trial of a police officer who is accused of attempted rape and false imprisonment is to be moved out of the Devon and Cornwall police area.

PC Matthew Tregale was not asked to enter pleas at Exeter Crown Court because he is not represented due to industrial action being taken by criminal barristers.

Judge Peter Johnson set a timetable for the progress of his case, which is likely to be heard at Bristol Crown Court over two weeks next summer.

He ordered the prosecution to serve their full case by September 27 and got Tregale to respond with a defence case statement by December 8.

The set a date for the next hearing of February 27, 2023, at which Tregale will be expected to enter pleas to the ten charges he faces. That hearing will be at Exeter Crown Court unless the case has already been transferred to Bristol.

Tregale, aged 33, whose address was listed as a police station in Exeter at a previous hearing, is accused of the attempted rape of a woman in April 2010 in Exeter.

He is also charged with two counts of false imprisonment of the same complainant between November and December 2008, harassing her between June 2005 and June 2010.and sexually assaulting her between 2006 and 2010.

Tregale is also charged with coercive and controlling behaviour against a second woman in Newton Abbot, between December 2015 and July 2020.

The most recent allegations relate to accusations of coercive and controlling behaviour against a third woman during 2021 in Newton Abbot.

Mr Kannan Siva, prosecuting, said: The defendant has always vehemently contested the allegations against him and the case is unlikely to be resolved by guilty pleas.

‘A number of issues have been raised by the defence including the propriety of the allegations and the investigation, and also the sufficiency of the evidence.’

Judge Johnson said: ‘It has been decided that it is not a good idea to hold the trial in the Devon and Cornwall area, perhaps for obvious reasons.’

He said the time estimate of eight to ten working days meant it is unlikely to be heard at Taunton and that he is liaising with Judge Peter Blair, KC, who is the resident judge at Bristol.

Tregale, who featured in the fly-on-the wall television series Call the Cops, is currently suspended by the Devon and Cornwall force.