Somerset

Married PC fired for affair with domestic abuse victim

police generic Image copyright PA
Image caption PC Lintern's misconduct hearing took place on Friday (stock photo)

A married police officer has been sacked for having a sexual relationship with a vulnerable victim of domestic abuse whose case he had worked on.

PC Christopher Lintern began the secret affair in 2015, six weeks after the police investigation ended, a force misconduct hearing was told.

It found he abused his position to establish an "improper relationship" which amounted to "serious corruption".

The victim said she was a "willing and equal partner in the relationship".

During the hearing, held on Friday, the panel heard Mr Lintern sent the woman a picture of his penis taken from a toilet cubicle while on duty at Bristol Crown Court as a witness in an attempted rape trial.

Panel members saw written evidence from Mr Lintern, who did not attend, in which he claimed the relationship was not an abuse of his position but a "workplace affair".

He said the woman, named only as X, "was not vulnerable" at the time when they met, and while he accepted his action was misconduct he denied it amounted to gross misconduct.

The panel concluded that while X did not regard herself as vulnerable, the officer had enough information "to reach a proper assessment that she was a vulnerable victim".

The report added: "The improper relationship with PC Lintern and subsequent investigation has caused X significant setbacks.

"While she was not aware of the impropriety of his actions and the certainty that they would lead to investigation if discovered, PC Lintern was, or should have been."

The woman's violent partner was later convicted and had a restraining order imposed on him.

Deputy Chief Constable Gareth Morgan said: "I welcome the decision of the independent misconduct panel to dismiss Christopher Lintern with immediate effect.

"He has betrayed the trust placed in him by the public and exploited a vulnerable victim of crime. There is no place for him in policing.

The panel resolved to dismiss PC Lintern without notice due to gross misconduct.

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