A POLICE officer told a court he was lightening the mood and joking around when he inferred to a woman in custody that he would like to have sex with her, a court heard.

Sergeant Richard Evans, of The Highway, New Inn, denies two counts of misconduct in public office and three counts of sexual assault between 2003 and 2013.

Evans, 47, told Cardiff Crown Court his attitude to detainees was "quite flexible" and that he used what he termed "Carry On humour" in an attempt to make them feel relaxed.

He acknowledged his language might have been seen as inappropriate and “silly” but that it was to show police officers were “not robotic" and "that we are approachable”.

He also refuted all allegations made by women earlier in the trial that he had had sex with any complainant or touched them inappropriately.

The court heard Evans was suspended by Gwent Police when the allegations came to light last January. He has been a police officer since 1986. He has been a custody sergeant with the force since November 2003 and said he has dealt with about 25,000 detainees in his career.

The court was also told Evans had joined the relief work in Asia in the aftermath of the tsunami there in 2004.

He said: “It was quite a traumatic experience and it made me realise that people have various needs and suffer throughout their lives and that I should be doing things to make their lives easier if I could.”

Earlier, the jury of seven men and five women was shown CCTV footage taken from Ystrad Mynach police station in 2012 when a woman caught shoplifting was taken to the station.

Sitting behind a desk and processing information about her arrest, he told the woman: "Don't take this the wrong way but I'd do you."

The woman, who was a recovering heroin addict at the time and is now free of drugs, told the court that she had been upset by what Evans said.

But the footage showed she laughed at the remark.

Susan Ferrier, defending, asked the woman why she had not complained about it at the time and said she seemed “to be going along with [Evans’] banter”.

The woman said she laughed because she was nervous and that he had made her feel “worthless”.

She told the court: "I have been sexually abused and it brought it back from the past."

The woman also said she had failed to make a complaint over Evans’ conduct until last July because she was unsure people would believe her after her past as a drugs user.