PC’s comments ‘inappropriate’
But officer denies touching colleague
A POLICE officer admitted he was “inappropriate” in telling colleagues he would be “staying in having a ****athon”, a misconduct hearing has been told.
PC Simon England, of Dyfed-Powys Police, is also alleged to have repeatedly touched a female colleague and made inappropriate sexual comments – but he denied ever touching the woman sexually.
The panel hearing the proceedings were told during the opening by Elliot Gold, representing the force, that in a police car and while on duty PC England had told two colleagues: “I always make time for ****ing.”
Giving evidence yesterday PC England accepted making a reference to masturbation in a conversation with colleagues in late November 2017 and said he shouldn’t have done it.
They were asking him about a person they believed to be his girlfriend but he didn’t want to talk about her, he said.
“That is when I made the inappropriate comment – I said I would be staying in having a ****athon,” the officer added.
Answering a question from Mr Gold PC England said he accepted his behaviour amounted to misconduct but denied it was gross misconduct.
He also faces an allegation that he made lewd sexual remarks about a woman standing in the street to a colleague.
At the hearing at DyfedPowys Police headquarters in Carmarthen PC England said he had received counselling for his low mood while working for another force and that had led to him attending meetings about sex addiction.
The 37-year-old said sex addiction was not the reason he started counselling but that, as a result of conversations, the counsellor suggested that it could be beneficial for him to attend Sex Addicts Anonymous.
The PC told the hearing: “I went about four or five times while I was continuing to see this counsellor. I discussed with him how I found it – it was not for me and I didn’t continue to go. There was no formal diagnosis of being a sex addict.”
In an interview carried out as part of the police misconduct investigation on May 31, 2018, PC England – who is now carrying out an office-based role at headquarters but was previously based in Llanelli – refused to answer questions in relation to sex addiction but said there was no risk posed by him to any member of the public or any member of the organisation.
PC England told the hearing he joined DyfedPowys Police in July 2017 and had found the transfer “hard and difficult”.
In respect of his alleged conduct towards a female colleague, who cannot be named for legal reasons, he told the hearing he had made comments he regretted but denied claims he had made unwanted physical contact with her.
PC England said he had not spoken much with the officer prior to the two of them being sent on a job at Singleton Hospital together in 2017 but said he thought he had got to know her “quite well” and had become friends during the course of the assignment.
He denied touching her and said he was trying to be funny when he put his hands on the back of her chair, describing his actions as “playful”.
“I think I leaned forward and said ‘boo’,” he said. “Because we had been getting on really well up until that point I didn’t think that it would have caused her any concern and I hope she would have found it amusing.”
PC England said on the same occasion he pulled a substantial amount of toilet tissue out of his trouser pocket and said he had put it there in case the nurses thought he “was having a ****”.
“I did say something similar to that,” he said. “I think I would have had a cold or hayfever. It was a joke . . . it was ill-judged humour.”
On a separate occasion PC England said he paid a compliment to the officer about the way she looked and touched her back.
“There is no stroking,” he said. “It would have been a hand simply placed on the back around the shoulder blade and for a momentary second and then removed.
“I thought she was my friend, I didn’t think that it was sexual.”
PC England denies gross misconduct
The hearing, which is expected to last all week, continues.