The gift that keeps giving
A police detective who found himself involved in a complicated ‘love square’ with three colleagues used work software to spy on his community officer ex-girlfriend, a disciplinary hearing has disclosed.
Detective sergeant Gerallt Davies, of North Wales Police, cheated on his own partner – a detective constable – during an affair with an unnamed police community support officer (PCSO) who then left him for another officer in the same force.
Details of the officers’ relationships were outlined to a disciplinary panel at force headquarters at Colwyn Bay, Conwy, which also heard Det sgt Davies had used official systems at work 286 times to spy on the woman who left him.
He disputed his behaviour amounted to “gross misconduct” but after a two-day hearing Det sgt Davies was found guilty for accessing police computers for personal reasons and disobeying instructions from his superiors.
Det sgt Davies, who joined the force ten years ago and had been a CID officer at Caernarfon for a number of major fraud and drugs investigations, was sacked without notice.
He admitted six allegations of misconduct by accessing police systems for personal reasons, but he denied two of breaching a “lawful order” by visiting Menai Bridge police station – having allegedly tracked where the police community support officer was on duty – and by delivering a Valentine’s card to her home.
The detective told the panel his relationship with his partner began in 2009 but she had a “life-changing” accident which had a “massive” effect on the relationship.
He explained he had been friends with the PCSO but their friendship escalated and he confided in her about his problems.
Sgt Davies said his workload was also “really high” and everything combined to affect his mental state.
The detective said his affair ended after he saw a phone message from another PC to the PCSO.
“It left me in no doubt they were in a relationship,” he said, but he claimed after his cheating ended he received “explicit” text and picture messages.
On December 23 the Sgt Davies was spoken to by two superiors because his behaviour was said to have been upsetting the PCSO, the disciplinary panel heard.
Sgt Davies told the disciplinary hearing on Wednesday that between January 5 and February 5 he accessed police computers to find out the location of the PCSO and PC.
He said: “I was worried because I believed there would be a professional standards investigation into myself. I believed the account given was very one-sided and I wanted something to back up what I was saying.”
Barrister Trevor Parry-Jones, for the detective, said the officer had believed he was given advice on December 23 rather than a lawful order.
In a plea to the panel Det Sgt Davies said he had worked hard throughout his career and had no intention to upset anyone.
He added: “All I can do is to apologise for these mistakes and hope I can be given another chance.”
However the panel decided it would be not possible to have trust in the officer and he was sacked effective immediately.