Suffolk

PC told colleague 'I wish you were dead'

Halesworth Police Station Image copyright Google
Image caption PC Laurence Connolly made the comment at Halesworth Police Station in Suffolk

A police officer who told a female colleague "I wish you were dead" has been given a written warning.

PC Laurence Connolly made the comment at Halesworth Police Station in Suffolk to PC Jennifer Devine in April 2019.

At a disciplinary hearing, Mr Connolly fully apologised for the remark and added it was "unacceptable" and his judgement was "poor".

The hearing's chair, Monica Daley-Campbell, praised Ms Devine for "coming forward to say something is wrong".

The disciplinary panel was told Ms Devine joined Mr Connolly at Halesworth station in January 2019.

'Scared by comment'

Andrew Waters, representing Suffolk Police, said that at first they appeared to get on.

However, Mr Waters said: "Matters came to a head on 12 April when both officers were in the report writing room."

"PC Devine made a comment... that PC Connolly had been nice to her when he had been sick.

"Subsequently, PC Connolly commented 'I wish you were dead'."

Mr Waters said Ms Devine was "scared" by the comment not because she thought he would physically harm her but rather that "it caused her to believe that he would not support her as a colleague".

In an apology read out at the hearing, Mr Connolly said: "Upon reflection I recognise that some of the language I used toward PC Devine was unacceptable and my judgement was poor."

Allan Compton, counsel for Mr Connolly, who is now working at Lowestoft Police Station, said a number of colleagues had provided references for him.

One called him an "asset to the police". He added that Mr Connolly's family had recently suffered a tragedy and he suffered from depression.

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