A former Gainsborough police officer who sent sexualised text messages to two women has been dismissed from the force for gross misconduct.
PC Julian Minton sent text messages to one woman, referred to as Female A, including some which contained sexualised comments and innuendo.
The officer had visited the woman while investigating her complaint about anti-social behaviour but then began sending her the “inappropriate” messages.
A disciplinary hearing at Lincolnshire Police headquarters was told that Minton also sent inappropriate texts to a second woman, Female B, whom he had contact with several years earlier when she made a complaint of domestic harassment and then got back in touch with her in 2015.
David Ring, representing Lincolnshire Police Authority, told the hearing: “The officer attended upon Female A in response to her complaint of anti-social behaviour and a persistent noise complaint in relation to her property.
“The officer established the admitted conduct with Female A over the course of three weeks during the course of which he sent 507 text messages to her.
“The substantial majority of the messages were unduly familiar and unprofessional and there were a significant number which contained sexual messages and innuendo but not all of the 507 messages were inappropriate.
“It would have been obvious to the officer that Female A was vulnerable and would have to be treated appropriately.”
Mr Ring said the second woman initially had contact with PC Minton in 2011 over a domestic harassment issue but he then contacted her again in 2015 with inappropriate messages.
Minton admitted breaching the standards of professional behaviour between October and November 2016 in relation to Female A by sending her sexually suggestive and/or inappropriate text messages. He also admitted a similar charge in relation to contact he had with Female B.
PC Minton did not attend the hearing citing the fact that there had been media interest in the case.
In a statement he apologised to his victims, adding: “I fully accept that I’m guilty of misconduct and that it is gross misconduct and I will accept my fate. I’m hugely sorry that I have let myself, my family and Lincolnshire Police down.”
Jon Hassell, chairman of Lincolnshire Police Federation, who represented PC Minton, said: “Because of the domestic and personal difficulties the officer had sought solace and friendship and nothing more but this was done in an inappropriate way. The sending of the text messages was the relationship and there was no intention to take it further.”
Chief Constable Bill Skelly, who sat alone on the panel, ruled PC Minton’s actions amounted to gross misconduct and ordered him to be dismissed without notice.
Mr Skelly said: “It is wholly unacceptable for a police officer to abuse their special and privileged position in our community and to use it as a means of engaging in a personal relationship with a member of the public. There is no doubt that the victims in this case were vulnerable and were affected by the conduct of PC Minton.”
PC Minton joined Leicestershire Police in 1995 before transferring to Lincolnshire Police two years later. After working in Gainsborough he moved to Lincoln where he was a community beat manager in the north of the city.