Cop wins ap­peal over grab­bing col­league’s breasts at party

PC CLEARED OF GROSS MIS­CON­DUCT OVER IN­CI­DENT 12 YRS AGO

Bangor Mail - - News - Glyn Bel­lis

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.”

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