Officer over Facebook messages
vate message. The following day he invited Ms to meet in Wetherspoons. The woman, fearing he would become angry and come to her home, told him: “I’m sorry, I don’t think I can.”
But he persisted, saying that the pair could “sit somewhere quiet” and “hide in a corner”. When she declined again, he offered to visit
at home. As a result, Ms A, who complained
Kent Police about PC Wood’s behaviour, self-harmed again, cut- ting her arm and her leg. PC Wood, who was found guilty of gross misconduct and dismissed without notice, told the panel he was driven to contact Ms A because of his own struggles with mental health.
“There was no intention or thought to start up any kind of sexual or other relationship,” he said. “I just wanted to make sure she was OK and getting the help she needed.”
The officer said Ms A had “struck a chord in my mind” because he had suffered depression, including thoughts about self-harm, for several years.
But Matthew Holdcroft, presenting counsel, said: “The officer did not contact the Force Control Room, a hospital, any mental health services or a supervisor to alert them to the officer’s alleged concerns for Ms A. The officer did not raise concern about Ms A with any third party or specialist care provider.”
PC Wood said: “I’m truly sorry to Ms A, for the distress and the anxiety I have caused her to feel.”