'Triple sickie' policeman sacked over horse racing trips
A police officer who threw a "sickie" three times to watch horse racing has been sacked after being found guilty of gross misconduct.
PC Jonathan Adams, of Ross-on-Wye, went twice to Nottingham Racecourse and to Royal Ascot where he was seen celebrating a win on television.
The officer said the trips were "therapeutic" to deal with a "toxic" work environment.
A disciplinary hearing concluded PC Adams was "not as sick as he claimed".
PC Adams, an officer at Gloucester's Barton Street station, part-owned a horse with a racing syndicate.
The panel was told that in September 2015 and April 2016 he had reported in sick and went to Nottingham racecourse to watch the horse he part-owned, named Little Lady Katy.
In June 2016 he reported in sick again and went to Royal Ascot to watch Quiet Reflection, another horse owned by his syndicate, win the Commonwealth Cup.
The misconduct panel was shown a television clip of PC Adams jumping around and celebrating.
Stephen Morley, presenting the case for the force, told the hearing: "In a nutshell, on three occasions he deliberately reported sick in order to go to the horse races.
"We do not accept he was sick at all. He was throwing a sickie to go horse racing."
PC Adams said he had taken time off to avoid a "toxic" environment at Barton Street station. He described suffering stomach cramps, migraines and irritable bowel syndrome.
The hearing was told it was "quite clear" he was "not OK" and was "struggling with his environment".
Richard Shepherd, representing PC Adams, said: "He would not have let his colleagues down to go on a jolly at the races. It is not in his DNA."
But Alex Lock, chair of the panel, said: "We are forced to conclude that Pc Adams was not suffering the degree of sickness that he claimed he was.
"It is important that police officers are honest and that public confidence should be upheld.
"In the circumstances we conclude that dismissal without notice is appropriate in order to maintain public confidence in the force."