Bradford

Sacked West Yorkshire officer loses legal battle

A Wakefield Pc sacked for inappropriate behaviour, including flirting with a drugs suspect, has failed in her High Court bid to get her job back.

Pc Rebecca French, 31, was found to have gone to a Wakefield nightclub with a man she was due to give evidence against at a drugs trial in 2009.

The charges against him were dropped as Ms French, from Barnsley, was accused of discussing the case.

She had previously received two final warnings for misconduct.

These were for turning up at a police station drunk and failing to appear to give evidence at a magistrates' court.

Her judicial review challenge to her sacking was rejected by a judge at a High Court hearing in Leeds on Thursday.

'Very drunk'

The court heard Ms French was given a final warning after she admitted turning up off-duty at her former base at Wood Street police station, Wakefield, under the influence of alcohol in October 2008.

She was said to have been "disrespectful to on-duty colleagues, about whom [she] made derogatory comments" and left the force "open to considerable reputation damage".

In December 2009, the judge said Ms French received a second final warning when she admitted failing to turn up to Pontefract Magistrates' Court to give evidence in a driving offence case.

A third disciplinary hearing took place in August 2010, when the panel heard she had met a man, who was awaiting trial on charges of possession and cultivation of cannabis, at Buzz bar in Wakefield in October 2009.

The pair went on to a club where it was alleged Pc French became "very drunk", was sick on the floor and acted in a "sexually inappropriate manner" towards him.

Spiked drink claim

The charges against him were subsequently dropped due to her behaviour.

She claimed her drink had been spiked and she could not remember what had happened, but the court heard the allegations were found to be proved and she was dismissed.

Ms French also claimed the force's procedures leading up to her sacking were flawed.

Judge Brehens said there was no evidence Ms French's drink had been spiked and told the court West Yorkshire Police's proceedings against her were "not only fair but could be seen as fair".

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: "We welcome the decision of the court in this matter."

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