Tyne & Wear

'Sex acts' policeman 'allowed to keep job so he wouldn't lose pension'

Denise Aubrey Image copyright PA
Image caption The claims were made at a tribunal brought by Denise Aubrey, the force's former head of legal services

A policeman who pressured a vulnerable member of staff into two sex acts was allowed to keep his job so he would not lose his pension, a tribunal heard.

Supt David Borrie, of Northumbria Police, is said to have simply been told "don't apply for promotion" by his chief constable, Mike Craik.

Mr Craik has been at the centre of allegations about officers' conduct.

The claim was made at a tribunal brought by the force's former head of legal services.

Denise Aubrey, 54, was sacked in 2014 for gross misconduct after allegedly disclosing information about an affair Mr Craik was said to be having with his assistant chief constable, Carolyn Peacock, and a second relationship between two further high-ranking officers.

Mr Aubrey denies she did so and is claiming unfair dismissal, sexual and disability discrimination, victimisation and harassment.

In her witness statement, she said Mr Borrie, who is now 57 and retired from the force, pursued the "extremely vulnerable" civilian member of staff, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and "groped her in the office".

She said: "On another occasion, he took her for a drink in the afternoon at a pub and then pressurised her into giving him oral sex."

Image caption Mike Craik, then chief constable of Northumbria Police, is said to have had a relationship with Carolyn Peacock, his assistant chief constable

This happened a second time and eventually an investigation was launched, the tribunal in North Shields heard.

Ms Aubrey said: "Whilst it was felt that a criminal charge would not succeed, he had clearly breached police standards.

"Instead, it was decided to move him but to allow him to complete his service so that he could get his pension. Mr Craik decided to have a 'quiet word' with him and told him 'not to bother applying for promotion'.

"However, the IPCC [the police watchdog] insisted that he received a formal written warning."

Earlier in the week, the tribunal was told Mrs Peacock's husband, who was also a policeman, punched Mr Craik at a barbecue after learning of the affair.

Officers were called to deal with the altercation, but the record of the incident was then said to be deleted - leading to an allegation of a "cover-up" by Ms Aubrey's QC, Daphne Romney.

Rumours of the relationship began circulating in 2007, Ms Aubrey said.

Allegations of a second affair at the force, involving assistant chief constable Greg Vant and Mr Craik's secretary, Juliet Bains, were also raised at the tribunal.

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