Name: Police Constable Z Rank & Number: Police Constable
Name of complainant ( if applicable): Persons A, B, and C.
Case reference number: CM/11/21


You are hereby given notification of the outcome of misconduct proceedings which relate to your alleged breach of the Standards of Professional Behaviour.  Details are as follows:


Misconduct Hearing


Date(s) of misconduct proceedings: 30 and 31 August 2023
Location: North Yorkshire Police Headquarters, Alverton Court, Crosby Road, Northallerton.


Allegation It is alleged that you, Police Constable Z breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour in that: you breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour for

police officers, specifically the standards of:

1. Authority, Respect and Courtesy; and

2. Discreditable conduct.

It is alleged that you Officer Z subjected three females A, B, and C to unwanted, abusive, controlling, and/or coercive behaviour during the course of your relationships with them.

And it is contended that (if proven) the allegations amount to gross misconduct.


Behaviour towards female person A


1.  Between 1998 and 2001, you subjected person A to unwanted, abusive, controlling and /or coercive behaviour. In particular, you:


a)    Verbally abused her calling her a “bitch”

b)    Sought to control and/monitor how person A would spend her time;

c)     Threatened that her son, aged about 8 at the time, would end up in a “body bag” or words to that effect;

d)    Subjected her to physical abuse by;

i.      Placing a knife to her throat;

ii.     Strangling her and/or putting your hands around her throat;

e)    Subjected her to displays of anger including punching a door in her presence;

f)      Sought to control and/or apply pressure in relation to what person A  should wear;

g)    Accused her of cheating and/or being interested in other men.


Behaviour towards person B

2. Between December 2005 and March 2016, you subjected person B to unwanted, abusive, controlling and/or coercive behaviour. In particular you:

a)    Attempted to belittle her and/or reduce her confidence by telling her that she was fat, lazy, ugly and other such insults;

b)    Sought to isolate person B from her friends and family;

c)     Sought to control and/or monitor how person B spent her time;

d)    Frequently attended at person B’s place of work unannounced in furtherance of your attempts to control and/or coerce;

e)    Subjected her to displays of anger including throwing items and/or slamming doors in her presence;

f)      Sought to control and/or apply pressure in relation to what person B should wear;

g)    Accused her of cheating and/or being interested in other men.


Behaviour towards person C.

3. Between July 2016 and February 2017, you subjected person C to unwanted, abusive, controlling and/or coercive behaviour. In particular, you:

a)    Verbally abused and/or attempted to belittle person C, including accusing her of having a mental health problem and/or being an alcoholic, making reference to her weight and telling her she was unable to “keep her legs shut” or words to that effect;

b)    Sought to control and/or monitor how person C spent her time;

c)     Subjected her to physical abuse by nipping, biting, applying pressure to the pubic bone, shoving her, squeezing her wrists and placing a sharp object against her skin;

d)    Subjected her to displays of anger including throwing your laptop and/or hitting a wall;

e)    Accused her of cheating and/or being interested in other men.


The above conduct breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour relating to Discreditable Conduct and Authority, Respect and Courtesy and individually and/or cumulatively amounts to gross misconduct.



Person or persons conducting misconduct meeting:


Gerald Sydenham LQC PMP NE
Ms. Amanda J. Harvey
Superintendent 1341 Fran Naughton


Determination of your alleged breach of the Standards of Professional Behaviour

x   Gross Misconduct

Outcome (if alleged breach found to be misconduct or gross misconduct)


Misconduct Hearing

x   Dismissal without notice


Person conducting misconduct meeting / chairing misconduct hearing:


Details of reasons for determination and outcome are stated below.


Signature: G Sydenham Date: 31/08/2023


Determination and Outcome of Misconduct Meeting / Misconduct Hearing


Reasons for determination:

Officer Z sought and was granted significant reasonable adjustments to enable him to participate fully in the misconduct proceedings.

These reasonable adjustments were granted following the provision of an expert Psychological Report requested by the Chair and secured by officer Z’s legal representatives.

The Report provided a diagnosis confirming that officer Z suffered from a mixed depressive and anxiety disorder such as being sufficient to constitute a disability as defined by law. The report recommended reasonable adjustments to enable officer Z to attend the hearing and to provide mental health support throughout and following the hearing.

The reasonable adjustments were directed and put in place to assist officer Z.

Officer Z was assisted by both his solicitor legal representative, by his counsel and by his Federation in his defence of the allegations until the point at which he resigned from North Yorkshire Police Force on 11 August 2023 with an effective termination date 28 days after that date.

From the date of his resignation officer Z declined to engage further in the misconduct proceedings nor to attend the hearing.

Officer Z had provided a Regulation 31 within which he denied all of the allegations and the particulars of the allegations as set out in the Regulation 30 notice.

The allegations could not be formally put to the officer, during the proceedings they were treated by the Panel as being denied in totality and the AA was put to strict proof of the allegations, requiring the AA to prove the allegations upon a balance of probabilities.

Counsel for the AA Mr. Thorne provided a written Opening note and oral submissions at the commencement of the hearing upon the issues for decision by the Panel.

The Panel received and considered an evidential bundle in excess of 1000 pages, additional video recorded interviews, together with a detailed psychological report from Dr. Carolyn John which assisted the Panel in making decisions concerning officer Z’s disability and its effect upon his personality and behaviour.

The report also assisted the Panel throughout the proceedings including in relation to the Panel’s deliberations in respect of factual decisions, the decision upon outcome and the mitigation and lawful recognition of the impact of his disability as a factor relevant to his misconduct together with the legally recognised latitude which the Panel afforded to him as a person suffering from a disability.

No witnesses were called to give evidence and no witnesses were requested to attend to give evidence in the interests of justice as officer Z had declined to participate, to be represented or to seek to cross examine any witness.

All of the evidence was read and carefully considered by the Panel, including evidence from Officer Z’s supporting witnesses and his character evidence in determining which facts were proven and later when considering outcome.

The Panel having considered all of the evidence presented concluded that upon a balance of probabilities that the allegations were proven against officer Z and that he had breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour in respect of Discreditable Conduct and Authority, Respect and Courtesy.

The Panel concluded that cumulatively the proven misconduct was so serious as to warrant dismissal as a potential outcome and that the proven misconduct did constitute gross misconduct.

In deliberations concerning the Standards of Professional Behaviour the Panel were assisted by the College of Policing Code of Ethics and noted the obligations placed upon officers to uphold the law and in treating people with respect. 

The Panel considered that the misconduct in totality so seriously breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour that dismissal was justified as an outcome and that the behaviour of officer Z constituted gross misconduct, in reaching that decision the Panel took into account officer Z’s disability and that it was a factor in his proven misconduct which required the Panel to afford the officer a margin of appreciation when compared to non-disabled officers alleged to have committed similar gross misconduct.

The Panel considered that Officer Z’s misconduct was in part behaviour which occurred as a result of longstanding health issues and that his health issues did affect his behaviour.

As a result of his disability the Panel decided that considerable leeway had to be afforded to the officer to ensure that he was treated equally to others and that his disability had to be a major factor to be considered as significant in explaining his proven misconduct and that it was particularly relevant to the outcome decision.     


Reasons for outcome:

The Panel received submissions from Mr Thorne concerning how to approach consideration of outcome by utilising the College of Policing Guidance on Outcomes in police misconduct proceedings (2023 version).


The Panel utilised the guidance as suggested at paragraph 4 onward in the guidance in assessing officer Z’s culpability for gross misconduct, also in determining the seriousness of officer Z’s gross misconduct and in deciding upon officer Z’s blameworthiness and concluded that he was highly culpable and blameworthy for his own repeated gross misconduct even after allowing for a significant recognition of his disability and health issues as factors partially underlying his gross misconduct.

In reaching this conclusion the Panel did consider the officer’s disability and the diagnosed health problems of Officer Z. The report of Dr. John (at Paragraph 15.10) concluded that the diagnosis in itself “is not sufficient to cause or account for coercive or controlling behaviour”.

In assessing officer Z’s culpability, the Panel utilised and applied the COP Guidance on Outcomes in Police Misconduct Proceedings 2023 version.

The Panel followed the staged approach as recommended with the threefold purposes of the misconduct regime in mind (Paragraph 2.3).



The harm caused was very significant both to the reputation of officer Z and the reputation of the police service.

Officer Z fundamentally harmed his own reputation and the trust placed in him by North Yorkshire Police.

The effect of his gross misconduct upon the three female victims of his behaviour, the police service, his colleagues, public confidence in and the trust placed in the police service was extremely damaging and it is likely to continue to be corrosive in undermining public confidence in policing for a considerable time. 


Aggravating Factors

Premeditation was present.

The gross misconduct occurred over a period of years.

There were three victims of officer Z’s coercive behaviour who suffered damage to their health and wellbeing which was and is longstanding.

Officer Z should have recognised his wrongdoing given the period of time over which it occurred and the number of female victims involved together with his role as a police officer with clear knowledge of the national concerns relating to violence against women and girls.

Misogynistic behaviour by male officers towards females is an issue of national concern to the public and also to all police forces. The effect of such misconduct is corrosive and damages the trust placed in officers by the public very significantly, the loss of such trust ultimately can become irrecoverable.  

Aspects of the gross misconduct were predatory.

The behaviour was repeated, sustained and over a long time.

There was no insight, no apology nor any demonstration of contrition. 

Officer Z blamed others for causing his gross misconduct.



Officer Z, because of his disability and diagnosed health problems was in a less advantageous position compared to others in terms of his ability to cope with relationships (Paras 14.3 and 15.8 of Dr John’s report) and the Panel gave careful consideration to the issue of disability, recognition of that issue and reflection of the diagnosed health issues in determining outcome.

The Panel recognised and gave recognition and weight to the affect these health issues would have had upon officer Z and his conduct at times of stress and increased anxiety.


Reasons for Outcome

The Panel considered all available outcomes commencing with the least severe taking into account officer Z’s disability and how that impacted upon his culpability and having considered in detail the seriousness of the proven allegations.

The Panel considered in detail and at some length the lesser sanction of a final written warning, however PC Z’s culpability, taking due account of his disability and its potential causative effect of his gross misconduct was very high.

The Panel considered the harm caused by his  gross misconduct, including harm to the three victims, the aggravating and mitigating factors, the nature of the proven multiple allegations, the interests of the public and of the police and the Panel concluded having applied the COP Guidance on Outcomes that the only sanction suitable to fulfil the threefold purposes of the misconduct regime and also to reflect the seriousness of the gross misconduct was dismissal without notice.


Chair G. Sydenham G. Sydenham Signed 31 August 2023.

Police Member Superintendent F. Naughton

Independent Member Ms. Amanda J. Harvey