PC sacked after slapping colleague at Christmas party

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Image copyright Avon and Somerset Police
Image caption PC McCall was nearing retirement when the offences happened

A PC who touched a female officer's bottom and slapped her at a work Christmas party has been sacked.

James McCall, 51, who had mental health problems, had been drinking before he arrived at Sheppy's House of Cider in Taunton on 13 December 2018.

He also abused two junior officers, and made homophobic slurs at the event.

A disciplinary panel at Avon & Somerset Police said McCall had breached standards of authority and conduct, and dismissed him without notice.

The panel heard McCall found social events difficult and began buying drinks to try and be the "life and soul of the party," according to barrister George Thomas.

The officer who was slapped on the arm by McCall was described as looking "teary" and "distressed", and was only a year into her training.

Several witnesses who corroborated the reports about McCall's behaviour tried to defend his character, saying it was down to "high spirits", and "banter", but Mr Thomas argued an officer of McCall's experience had "absolutely no business doing what he did."

The panel also heard how McCall had sworn at two on-duty PCSOs (police community support officers) in Taunton in September last year.

McCall, who had received a number of commendations through his career, did not attend the hearing or respond to the allegations.

"All forms of discriminatory behaviour and conduct are completely inexcusable, and have no place in the police service," said Supt Simon Wilstead, head of professional standards at the force.