Pc ‘exposed himself and tried to force colleague’s head into his lap’, misconduct panel hears

A police constable allegedly exposed himself to a female colleague and tried to force her head into his lap while they were sitting in a parked car together, a misconduct panel has heard.

The serving West Mercia officer, who cannot be named because of an order imposed by the Police Misconduct Panel, is also accused of attempting to kiss two other women and touching their bottoms, as well as sending inappropriate messages to all three and a fourth female officer.

Defence barrister Ian Bridge said his client admitted some messages were inappropriate when confronted about it by superiors and admitted misconduct but not gross misconduct. He denies the assaults altogether.

The allegations were brought by the force’s Professional Standards Department.

Edward Pleeth, prosecuting, said the accused officer and “PC A” were based at the same station. He had agreed to give her a lift to and from West Mercia Police’s base at Hindlip Hall, near Worcester.

PC A told the panel that, during the return journey, he parked the car and “started to try to kiss me”. She later described it as “not just a peck; it was full, I was against the seat”.

“I said ‘What are you doing?’.”

“He said it was ‘just a bit of fun’. I said I didn’t see him like that, we were just friends.”

They continued driving but, at a later stop “his trousers were undone, he exposed himself and grabbed the back of my head and tried to put it down to where he had undone his trousers”.

PC A said: “I froze. I didn’t know what to do.

“He tried three times to get me to do it. I just kept saying I didn’t want to.”

She added that he stopped when she threatened to call a colleague, and the journey continued.

PC A told the hearing she didn’t report the incident initially because she “didn’t want to create ripples amongst colleagues” and “would just try to forget about it”.

She reported the incident later, when allegations of the male PC sending inappropriate text to other female officers surface and prompted wider inquiries.

Mr Pleeth said the allegations were investigated as an attempted rape, but the criminal investigation was abandoned after PC A said she did not want to give evidence in court.

“I know how long it takes,” she said, describing the police misconduct process as “stressful enough”.

Mr Bridge pointed out that, in a message exchange with her then boyfriend two months after the incident in the car, she referred to the accused officer as “lovely”. He said this word choice was inconsistent with it being “within two months of a serious sexual assault”.

PC A said she had called him “lovely but weird”, as she thought that phrase would be less alarming to her partner than “weird” alone.

The man stands accused of conduct that “amounted to a breach of the Standards of Professional Behaviour, namely: Authority, Respect and Courtesy”.

A notice, published online ahead of the hearing, added that: “If proved, it is contended that the officer’s actions singularly or in their totality amounted to gross misconduct.”

The hearing continues.

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