Police officer did not declare graphic conversation with paedophile
- Credit: Archant
A police constable who had a sexually explicit conversation with a convicted paedophile but failed to report it has been found guilty of gross misconduct.
Essex Police said John Storie encouraged the offender to describe child sexual abuse and requested images and videos via text messages and WhatsApp.
Despite the conversation, which described what would have been considered to be serious sexual abuse against a child, the former officer, who was based in Colchester, was found to have comitted no criminal offence.
But a disciplinary panel at Chelmsford Civic Centre ruled his actions were gross misconduct and said he would have been sacked if he had not already been medically retired in September,
Mr Storie, who did not attend the hearing, had been suspended from duty since May while an investigation was conducted.
You may also want to watch:
As part of the investigation his home was searched and officers found he had two live rounds of ammunition.
He accepted a caution for having these without a firearms certificate.
- 1 Matchday Live: Town beaten 3-0 after Harrop's red card
- 2 Cyclist dies after collision with car in Bury St Edmunds
- 3 Ipswich Town closing in on appointment of new chief executive
- 4 Cafe owner 'very emotional' after mystery customer leaves £500 for staff
- 5 'Buzz' about town as pub prepares to reopen under new family management
- 6 Woman arrested on suspicion of drink-driving following A14 crash
- 7 Serious crash closes road in Bury St Edmunds near A14
- 8 'Our supporters are tired and bored of us' - Cook on 3-0 loss at AFC Wimbledon
- 9 Antiques Roadtrip star opens new Suffolk antiques shop
- 10 'I am delighted to be joining. There is a lot of hard work that lies ahead' - Town's new CEO Ashton confirmed
The panel, led by legally qualified chairwoman Monica Daley, ruled that the former officer breached professional standards of behaviour of integrity, duties and responsibilities, and discreditable conduct, in relation to the conversation about child sexual abuse.
Panel members also found he breached professional standards of behaviour of integrity and discreditable conduct in relation to the ammunition offence.
The matters came to light when police began an investigation into the man Mr Storie had been in contact with.
Speaking after the hearing, panel member Chief Superintendent Andrew Mariner said: “Protecting the most vulnerable members of our society is at the very heart of the role of being a police officer.
“The sexual abuse of children is among the most abhorrent of crimes. For an officer to engage in sexually explicit conversation with a sex offender and to not report him is vile and reprehensible.
“Upholding the law is fundamental to policing and there is absolutely no place in Essex Police for such despicable behaviour.”
Mr Storie will be placed on a College of Policing barred list, ensuring he can never work in policing again.