Cop wins appeal over grabbing colleague’s breasts at party
PC CLEARED OF GROSS MISCONDUCT OVER INCIDENT 12 YRS AGO
A POLICEMAN has won an appeal against a gross misconduct ruling for grabbing a female colleague’s breasts at a party 12 years ago.
Daniel Doughty, who was a PCSO at the time, acted in a “drunken and immature” way when he groped his colleague at a party in Wetherspoon’s, Llandudno in 2007.
Despite the incident being “the talk of the Western division”, according to statements given to the appeal panel, no action was taken and superior officers had not deemed it worthy of any action at the time.
But when a complaint was made 10 years on from the incident, the force launched a probe and found PC Doughty guilty of gross misconduct.
He appealed the ruling and after four hours of deliberation, PC Doughty was yesterday cleared.
PC Doughty’s barrister Hugh Davies said: “It was the talk of the Western Division of the force” but supervisors had not considered it worthy of action.
It was ten years later that the force’s professional standards department became involved. The officer was 21 at the time and was now married with three children and his career included extensive community work.
Barrister Mark Ley-Morgan, for North Wales Police, said conduct aspirations in the service should be akin to those covering doctors and lawyers. He added: “It was wrong to suggest that historical conduct cannot be investigated.
“There is a distinction where police officers are involved and it was important to maintain the integrity.”
At the hearing last year the PC accepted there had been misconduct but not gross misconduct. The panel found there had been no sexual motive “but it was stupid and nasty”.
A whistleblower had taken the complaint to the professional standards department.
In evidence PC Doughty, a constable since 2008 who had been based at Bangor and Llangefni, recalled that on the night they’d been ten-pin bowling and he was “merry” after drinking four pints of cider.
He said about 20 officers were present and he’d apologised to the woman – who cannot be named.
In May 2015 he’d seen her at a party when he was dressed as Mickey Mouse and she was “fine,” he maintained.
The appeal panel’s chairman was Richard Merz and one member was the Chief Constable of Cleveland, Richard Lewis.
In their judgement they announced: “Following a Misconduct Hearing held on 18 June and 23 October 2018 Police Constable Daniel Doughty was found to have breached the Standard of Professional Behaviour and that this amounted to Gross Misconduct. The breach related to the Professional Standards of Discreditable Conduct.
“Police Constable Doughty was given a final written warning. This decision was subsequently appealed.
“A Police Appeal Tribunal was held on Tuesday, 30 April 2019.
“The Tribunal allowed the appeal because the conduct alleged predated the officer’s appointment as a police constable, there was no criminal conviction resulting from it during his service or at all and it was not therefore a breach of the Police (Conduct) Regulations 2012. The finding of Gross Misconduct against PC Doughty is now removed from his record with immediate effect.”