A COP groped three female officers at a Christmas do, a misconduct hearing was told.
David Edwards, 50, was already on final written warning after allegedly assaulting his wife Michelle, 49, on an earlier night out.
David Edwards, 50, groped three WPCs at a Christmas party on ‘their breasts and buttocks’[/caption]
A few weeks later he was out with colleagues from Cumbria Police when he “inappropriately touched” three female colleagues “on their breasts and buttocks”.
Edwards was so drunk at the Christmas bash last year that he could hardly walk. He said he couldn’t remember anything the next day but he still sent several texts to his boss, Chief Supt Rob O’Connor, apologising for his conduct.
In one he said: “I, too, am disappointed in myself. I will have to sit and wait for the outcome in due course. I’m sorry for letting you down.”
And in another he added: “I’ve only got myself to blame here as I was far too drunk. I don’t remember anything with regards to the allegations made. I’m absolutely embarrassed, disgusted and ashamed by what I’ve done.”
Edwards, a keen runner and former shipyard worker and on-call firefighter, was ordered to appear at a misconduct hearing in Penrith, Cumbria, but the panel was told that he had already quit the force.
‘HE GRABBED MY BUM’
His employment officially ended the day before and he did not attend the hearing.
Panel chairman Stephen Chappell said: “During the evening, PC Edwards became extremely drunk. At one point he had to be assisted to go to the toilet, and was taken home by two male PCs.
In the Rioja bar, PC Edwards, who had more than 11 years’ service with Cumbria, grabbed the breast of officer A, of which she said was an “intentional action.”
In another bar he groped a second WPC, referred to as Officer B who said: “He grabbed my bum. Although I think this behaviour could be taken inappropriately by others, I took it in jest. I put it down to him being drunk and over-friendly.”
A third woman, Officer C, said he was “slurring his words and struggling to hold himself up”. He knocked the side of her breast with his left hand on more than one occasion, and referred to the size of her breasts.
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This was said to have been “in good humour” and accidental, but the panel found PC Edwards then “quickly grabbed her right breast” deliberately.
Finding that PC Edwards’ conduct amounted to gross misconduct – and that dismissal would be justified – the panel concluded: “This was repeated and sustained behaviour albeit over a short period of time. There is no mitigation for the behaviour. This is a case of sexual impropriety.
He had been arrested in 2015 on suspicion of assaulting his wife but no further action was taken.
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