3.9k Share this
A senior RAF officer suspended after neighbours told police they had seen him moon them naked in his garden told investigators he only bent over to ‘pick up a tennis ball for his dogs’.
Air Marshal Andrew Turner, 54, sent a letter to the family last week apologising for an incident he said caused ‘absolutely unintentional upset’.
Neighbour Simon Herbert, also 54, had alerted police after spotting Air Marshall Turner nude in the paddock of his £1.5million thatched cottage.
When the RAF man allegedly ‘bared his backside’ at him he went to confront him at the home in Cane End, Oxfordshire, and then complained to Thames Valley Police, triggering an investigation.
Officers who attended the report of the ‘public order incident’ consulted with the CPS and Air Marshall Turner was handed a community resolution order last week.
Mr Herbert said: ‘I feel like he’s gotten away with it because of who he is. If it was the other way round, I’d have been arrested and charged with indecent behaviour straight away.
‘But I think it’s been swept under the carpet because of his very senior role within the RAF.
‘He wrote us a letter as a result of the community resolution but it was a very mealy-mouthed apology.
‘In the letter he just apologised for causing ‘any inadvertent and absolutely unintentional upset’.
‘He even apparently told police that he didn’t bare his bottom at me but was in fact bending over to pick up a tennis ball for his dog. And the reason why he’d taken off his clothes was because he was hot.’
Mr Herbert’s partner Leslie Stevens, 52, and her 18-year-old daughter were left ‘really upset’ by the incident, which happened in August last year.
Air Marshal Andrew Turner, 54, (pictured) sent a letter to the family last week apologising for an incident he said caused ‘absolutely unintentional upset’
A spokesman for Thames Valley Police said: ‘Thames Valley Police officers were called following reports of a public order incident which occurred at a property in Cane End, Oxfordshire on August 10 last year.
‘Officers investigated thoroughly. Given the nature of the incident, following an investigation in which the suspect and the aggrieved were spoken to at length, and following discussions with the Crown Prosecution Service, it was decided that the most appropriate course of action would be to issue a community resolution order. This was issued to a 54-year-old man on February 9.’
Mr Turner is thought to have been suspended two weeks ago after he informed his boss of the probe. Station commanders were told he ‘stepped back from duty due to a personal matter’.
The family say they now feel uncomfortable using a hot tub they bought only a few weeks before the incident, and claim there have since been further disagreements with Mr Turner and his wife Catherine, a teacher.
They plan to appeal against a ‘community resolution’ which saw the officer apologise ‘for any inadvertent and absolutely unintentional upset that may have resulted from activity on our property’. He was not arrested nor charged with any offence. Nor does the apology letter specify what took place.
Correspondence seen by the Daily Mail showed Thames Valley Police’s Detective Sergeant Ed Horley telling Mr Herbert, who runs an animal sanctuary on his property, that ‘Mr Turner has accepted the community resolution and the conditions we discussed. Therefore, please expect a written letter of apology to be forthcoming’.
The pink thatched cottage on right is owned by Air Marshall Andrew Turner, and cottage, left lived in by Simon Herbert and Leslie Stevens
But the family say the letter, addressed to Mr Herbert, Mrs Stevens and her eldest daughter dated 10 February 2022, was only signed by a squiggly monogram, rather than Air Marshal Turner’s name, and did not admit how upsetting his behaviour had been, leading them to believe he was trying ‘duck responsibility’.
As the RAF’s ‘Deputy Commander Capability’, Mr Turner is essentially a deputy head of the RAF. A former special forces commander, he is in charge of making sure the service ‘can deliver air and space power for the nation and project power and influence around the world’.
He is one of just two Air Marshals standing in rank just below Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston.
In a witness statement, Mr Herbert recounted how he was working on a fence when his partner rang him and told him to look over into his neighbour’s paddock. He claimed: ‘I was about 30 metres from Andrew at this point and only had him in my view for a second or so long, enough to realise it was Andrew and he was naked.’
He said he was shocked and left ‘wondering if there were any children in the area who may come across Andrew naked’.
He continued: ‘Andrew was still in the same corner of his paddock and as I approached, I could see his face as he turned towards me and had a look of shock or surprise. I could see that Andrew was fully naked not even wearing shoes.’
The statement claims: ‘Andrew just looked at me and did not reply. His hands remained down by his side and he just turned away from me and started walking slowly back up his paddock towards his house and garden.’
His partner Mrs Stevens claimed in her statement: ‘As I looked across our garden I could see a naked body at the bottom of Andrew Turner’s paddock near to the three bar wooden fence I mentioned. At first I could not believe what I was seeing and my mind straight away assumed the person was an intruder.’
She added later: ‘I feel very stressed about the whole incident … I no longer feel comfortable when I come outside…’
Last night, a spokesman for the RAF said: ‘We are aware of a matter involving a RAF officer, which has been subject to a police investigation.
‘The officer has been suspended from duty without prejudice.’
It said it would not comment any further on his poisition, asked again today.
Meanwhile, a glittering military biography on the RAF website recounts how Mr Turner studied at Oxford, and as a helicopter pilot has 5,100 flying hours on 87 types of aircraft, including in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan.
He was made an OBE in 2003, CBE in 2010 and Companion of the Order of Bath in 2019. He rows and enjoys polo and rugby.
A solicitor for Mr Turner said the claims were inaccurate and ‘vexatious’. He emphasised that none of the allegations had been prosecuted despite the claims being ‘the subject of a lengthy police investigation and review by CPS’.
Source: Daily Mail