A police officer has been found guilty by a jury of the rape of a woman 15 years ago. PC Richard Hale, of Peel Place, Carterton, Oxfordshire, was convicted of one count of rape following the trial at Oxford Crown Court.

The 35-year-old, who joined Thames Valley Police in April 2003, was remanded in custody to be sentenced on a date to be set.

A force spokesman said that the police officer had met up with the victim, a woman aged in her 20s, on 3 December 2001, and they visited pubs in Witney before travelling to a property in Peel Place where he raped her.

The victim reported the incident to police on 27 June 2012.

Assistant Chief Constable Jason Hogg said: "The conviction of Hale demonstrates that Thames Valley Police takes all reports of sexual offences extremely seriously and will investigate to ensure offenders, whoever they may be and regardless of any positions they hold, are brought to justice.

"The Force treats all allegations against our officers and staff with the utmost gravity. Our priorities in relation to protecting the public are clear – there is no place in the Force for those who commit offences of this nature. Victims of all sexual offences, regardless of when they occurred, should feel confident in reporting incidents to us."

A misconduct investigation by the force's professional standards department has been launched following PC Hale's conviction.