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Female officer who bombarded her armed police ex-boyfriend with texts is convicted of harassment

A policewoman who hounded her ex-boyfriend and accused him of having affairs with two other colleagues has been convicted of harassment.

Debra Mackrell, 44, made 1,600 phone calls to armed police officer Paul Brewster and sent him thousands of texts after the couple broke up in 2016.

Mackrell tried to get Mr Brewster fired from his job in the SO19 firearms unit by telling his superiors he was ‘mentally unfit’ to carry a gun.

She also accused Mr Brewster of having an affair with a colleague and a custody officer.

Mr Brewster said the last straw was when Mackrell sent him a text saying she would ‘destroy his pension’ and the paranoia left him having to take time off.

Mr Brewster, pictured, told a court she threatened to 'destroy his pension' and left him feeling paranoid in his own home

Debra Mackrell, 43, pictured, is accused of stalking and harassing ex-boyfriend and fellow police officer Paul Brewster, right, after becoming convinced he was having an affair before they broke up in 2016. Mr Brewster told a court she threatened to ‘destroy his pension’ and left him feeling paranoid in his own home

Mackrell saw her career left in tatters today after she was convicted of harassment after nearly five hours of deliberations at Inner London Crown Court.

She was found not guilty of the more serious charge of stalking.

Judge Freya Newbery warned the shamed officer: ‘I don’t think this crosses the custody threshold.’

Mackrell had insisted they were both behaving the same way and the harassment was ‘two sided.’

‘There were times when he told me to stop contacting him, but I had also done that,’ she said. I realised that it was affecting my mental health.

‘It was hurting us, I needed to break free, he would say that makes me feel really bad, that makes me feel really sad with what I’m going through with my first wife.

‘We would argue and then be friends again. 

‘He often talks to you about family circumstances, I was spent at the end, he was telling me about his ex-wife and her illness.

Inner London Crown Court, pictured, heard Mackrell had threatened to tell Mr Brewster's superiors he was 'mentally unfit' to wield a gun

Inner London Crown Court, pictured, heard Mackrell had threatened to tell Mr Brewster’s superiors he was ‘mentally unfit’ to wield a gun

‘On 1 June I sent him a link to MIND, I said I hope it all goes well, but I couldn’t stay in contact with you any more. I thought he was happy to engage.’

Mackrell accused Mr Brewster of having an affair with Jenny Devine at Hackney police station before ‘switching her fixation’ to custody officer Genevieve Pereira.

Mr Brewster denied he was seeing the other women but Mackrell continued to harass him, sending him sometimes hundreds of messages a day accusing him of having affairs.

Mr Brewster pleaded with her to leave him alone, texting her: ‘This has got to stop. I have done nothing wrong. This is lunacy.’

David Povall, prosecuting, had told how Mackrell harassed her ex-lover by turning up at his place of work and ‘ultimately by sending him unwanted post’ while she was awaiting trial for this case. 

Mr Brewster eventually reported the harassment and Mackrell was first arrested on 7 June 2017.

But in interviews to police, she claimed the contact was mutual, and she stayed in touch with Mr Brewster because they were good friends.

Mackrell told the officers that she had known Mr Brewster for five years, and the couple started seeing each other in September 2015.

A court heard Mackrell believed Mr Brewster had been seeing two colleagues at Hackney police station, pictured 

‘During the time I was with him he lied to me a couple of times and because of what happened in the past I had huge issues,’ said Mackrell in her police interview.

Jurors heard that Mackrell had come out of an abusive relationship with another police officer six years prior to dating Mr Brewster.

‘It was because of my background, because I had been cheated on, beaten up, and lied to,’ she said. 

The relationship was going well until September 2016, when her friend Ms Devine told Mackrell she’s seen Mr Brewster ‘all dressed up’ in a train to Chelmsford, Essex. 

This led to more than a month of constant arguments, with Mr Brewster insisting he was not cheating on her. 

This culminated in the relationship eventually imploding on 11 October that year. 

Mackrell became convinced that Mr Brewster was in a secret relationship with Ms Pereira because the two used to work together, the court heard.

‘There were rumours about him and her, he had no idea where they started from,’ she said. ‘That he slept with her or something like that.’

She decided to confront Mr Brewster by showing up to a Limehouse police station where he was working in March 2017. 

She claimed the two of them had a long heart-to-heart as they walked and Mr Brewster was apologetic, before kissing her on the lips outside Stratford station.

‘If I was harassing him, I would suggest you wouldn’t kiss somebody who was harassing you and you didn’t feel anything for,’ she told the officer.

‘This harassment was two-sided. He didn’t need to kiss me on the lips. He didn’t need to tell me how much he cared for me.’

When asked why she had told Mr Brewster’s superiors he was ‘unfit’ to work for the SO19 firearms team, Mackrell claimed it was because of his history with depression.

She was arrested again in 23 November 2017 and police recovered thousands of texts from two phones.

But while awaiting trial in March 2019, she sent Mr Brewster the brochure of a holiday company they had used as a couple to ‘remind him she was there’. 

Mackrell, of Milton Keynes, denied stalking causing alarm or distress and a lesser charge of harassment.

She was convicted of harassment but cleared of stalking.

Mackrell was bailed ahead of sentence at Inner London Crown Court on October 21.


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