Lincolnshire Police officer sacked for misconduct after carrying on secret affair and checking out porn websites on work time

Lincolnshire Police
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A Lincolnshire police officer who met up with his secret lover while he was on duty and checked out porn websites when he was supposed to be investigating a complaint of domestic violence, was today (Thursday) sacked after admitting a string of breaches of standards of professional behaviour.

PC Darren Perry, who was based in Sleaford, also made inappropriate comments about the victim of the former England footballer Adam Johnson who was jailed for six years for sexual abuse of an underage girl.

And he failed to pass on information he received from his lover, referred to as ‘A’, and a second woman, known as ‘B’, that they had been victims of domestic violence and sent sexually explicit text messages to ‘B’.

Perry was also given information by ‘A’ about a drug dealer which he failed to act upon.

A gross misconduct hearing at Boston was told that Perry, 37, was sent to see the domestic violence victim, but less than 40 minutes after arriving and while still at the scene he used his mobile phone to look at the sites.

On another occasion Perry viewed footage of an adult webcam performer, referred to as ‘C’, after she made a complaint to police that she was receiving threats on social media.

Perry handed in his resignation three weeks ago but was still legally a police officer until his 28 day notice period is completed.

Jane Clark, the chairman of the panel, said: “There is no proper alternative to an outcome of dismissal without notice.

“This finding should send a message to other officers and the public alike that the conduct here cannot be tolerated. It is simply not compatible with the high standards and values of Lincolnshire Police.

“The public do not expect their taxes to pay the salary of a police officer to use his most valuable resource, namely time, to conduct private affairs, send sexually explicit messages, swap intimate photographs and watch porn. Other officers whose professional lives are filled with stress and responsibility do not deserve their reputation to be tied to the likes of him.

“The public would be appalled to know what he was watching between attending incidents involving vulnerable people.

“Not only was the officer engaging in many activities that were not part of his duties, he was also not engaged in many activities that were part of his duties. All of this was to the benefit of no-one but himself.

“There is no evidence of insight into the seriousness of his conduct or the effect that it had on others. Where an apology might have been there is deafening silence.”

The woman referred to as ‘C’ complained that she had received threats that pictures and videos of her would be posted on Facebook.

The hearing was told that although Perry was assigned to the case ‘C’ insisted on seeing a female officer.

However less than an hour after the new officer updated the police system about the case Perry uploaded a video of ‘C’ performing a sexual act. He then showed the footage to ‘A’.

David Ring, for Lincolnshire Police Authority, told the hearing: “58 minutes after that was updated, a video of ‘C’ performing a sexual act was uploaded to the defendant’s phone. It is accepted that he viewed that material and he viewed it with ‘A’. It is clear that the officer [Perry] became aware of this material from the update.

“It is inappropriate for a police officer who has knowledge of a person who has declared themselves a victim of crime to access sexual material of that person.

“Having gone to the police to seek help the officer assigned to help her then gratuitously sought out information and a video of her performing a sexual act and viewed it for his own purpose. That has done serious damage to the reputation of Lincolnshire Police by the fact that information provided to the police was exploited in the way it was.”

The hearing was told that details of the incident were obtained by officers investigating Perry after they checked out his mobile phone.

The phone revealed that while off duty he had checked out a website which depicts scenes of women being raped using footage from legitimate films and television drama.

The checks on the phone also showed that Perry had made inappropriate comments about the victim in the case of the former England footballer Adam Johnson after a photograph of the girl was circulated in a WhatsApp group which he was a member of.

Mr Ring said: “There was some conversation between him and some friends in relation to the media case of Johnson, a footballer who was sent to prison for six years. Mr Perry was sent a picture by a friend who told him that she was the victim in the case. His response was to say things which were inappropriate and grossly insensitive.”

Mr Ring said that Perry, who was based in Sleaford, was involved in a secret relationship with a married lover ‘A’.

‘A’ told Perry, who was also married, that she had been subjected to domestic violence at the hands of her husband but he took no action because he feared that by raising the matter the illicit relationship would be revealed.

Mr Ring said: “On various dates between August 2014 and July 2016 his conduct breached the standards of professional behaviour.”

He said that in February 2016, ‘A’, in a text conversation with Perry, identified a person she believed to be a drug dealer.

“He failed to take steps to report the information or cause it to be recorded on the police system.”

Mr Ring said that ‘A’ told Perry about violence she was subjected to by her husband but he did nothing about it.

“The officer was under a professional duty to take some action or pass it on to another, but he had a personal conflict because to do so might reveal the nature of his relationship with ‘A’.

“There are clearly instances where ‘A’s partner considers that something is going on and reacts accordingly. These matters were communicated to the officer, but he took no steps to record it or even report it anonymously.”

Mr Ring said that Perry had been advised by his Sergeant to end the relationship but carried on regardless.

He met the woman a number of times when he was on duty and sent her dozens of text messages.

He said: “In effect the officer bunked off work to see his girlfriend for an hour on a number of occasions in wanting to maintain a relationship which was kept secret from his wife he was seeing her while he was at work.”

Perry did not attend the hearing. He admitted 12 matters of breaches of standards of professional behaviour. The three member panel found that in 11 of the cases Perry’s behaviour amounted to gross misconduct.

Insp Phil Clark, a Police Federation official who represented Perry, asked the panel to take into account the fact that Perry had assisted throughout with the investigation.

He added: “This is one of the most troubling cases I have dealt with. Much of what the panel has heard I also find distasteful on a personal and a professional level.”

In addition a number of character references were submitted on behalf of Perry.