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Married Cleveland police sergeant, 38, had an affair with a student constable in her 20s

Married Cleveland police sergeant, 38, had an affair with a student constable in her 20s 2

A married police sergeant had a secret affair with a young student constable before sending an intimate photo of her to his friend with the message ‘probationers are class, game as f***’.

The 38-year-old supervisor began a sexual relationship with the young recruit, who was in her early 20s, a disciplinary tribunal heard. He also photographed a confidential briefing document on a murder investigation and sent it to his wife.

Despite being disciplined for humiliating his junior colleague and being brought before a court for the serious data breach, the officer has been allowed to keep his anonymity.

The 38-year-old supervisor began a sexual relationship with the young recruit, who was in her early 20s, a disciplinary tribunal heard. Pictured: The Cleveland Police HQ

The 38-year-old supervisor began a sexual relationship with the young recruit, who was in her early 20s, a disciplinary tribunal heard. Pictured: The Cleveland Police HQ 

A police disciplinary hearing declined an application for the officer – referred to as PC A – to be held publicly accountable for his actions.

Weeks before his wrongdoing began he had been hauled before senior officers over a previous breach of confidentiality on a training course and was given a warning about his behaviour.

Stephen Morley, counsel acting for the troubled Cleveland Police Force, outlined the four offences which led to the officer resigning from the force.

He told the hearing in Hartlepool: ‘At the time, PC A was aged 38 and was a police officer with 14 years experience on the force. He was an acting sergeant when he entered into a sexual relationship with student PC X.

‘She was a young officer in her early 20s and had been a student officer for 16 or 17 months.

‘One concern is the imbalance of power between an older male police officer in a position of rank and a young female student officer who had been training for about 17 months.

‘What happened was that a relationship developed between the two of them. PC A and PC X began communicating by text and Whatsapp and began a sexual relationship.

‘PC X says that they had sexual relations on one occasion at her home address and PC A when he was interviewed agreed with that.

‘During that relationship PC A sent a sexual image of the female officer to another man who was not a police officer, a friend and someone he knew outside the police.

‘This intimate photograph was sent to this other man without PC X’s knowledge. In it she was in a state of undress and exposing parts of her body.

‘PC X confirmed it was her and that she had sent it to PC A. She was very upset to find it had been sent to someone else.

‘He made derogatory comments in messages he sent along with the picture. Those were; ”probationers are class”, ”she is on my shift” and ”game as f***”.’

‘These were completely inappropriate derogatory comments made by a male officer in a position of responsibility.

‘He was effectively the line manager for this student officer and he made comments about her that were completely inappropriate and unbecoming of an acting police sergeant.’

The officer refused to answer questions but gave a written statement in which he admitted what he’d done, putting it down to ‘showing off and self ego’.

Mr Morley added: ‘This poor young lady who entered into this sexual relationship with a supervisor had her trust and confidence breached and had comments made about her which discredits the organisation as a whole.’

PC A did not attend the hearing and did not dispute the four charges against him. The panel was told he had resigned following his criminal conviction before magistrates for the data breach regarding the murder enquiry.

The first two charges dealt with his relationship with the student officer, firstly that he did not disclose their relationship, leading to complaints that she had received preferential treatment from her regarding overtime and a taser course.

The second was that he breached standards of respect and courtesy by forwarding her picture to his friend.

Then, on May 17, 2020, he breached the force’s confidentiality standards by sending a picture of a highly sensitive internal document to his wife.

The acting sergeant was spotted doing it by a constable who reported the matter.

Mr Morley said: ‘He was on duty as an acting sergeant at a police station in the Cleveland force area and was seen by another officer taking a photograph of a confidential internal briefing sheet containing information about a murder.’

When he was questioned by senior officers he admitted taking the picture and said he had sent it to his wife because they had been talking about the case.

Mr Morley said: ‘He said his wife was not a police officer and this had been a personal matter between the two of them.

‘He deleted the photo from his phone and handed his phone to a senior officer.’

The confidentiality and data breach led to the officer being charged and put before magistrates where he admitted an offence under the data protection act in December 2020 and was fined £400

The criminal conviction formed the last of the four charges of discreditable conduct.

Mr Morley said: ‘It is our case that PC A would have been dismissed for gross misconduct had he not resigned.

‘These are serious failings involving multiple breaches of the standards expected.’

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