Female police sergeant sobs as she's sacked for on-duty lay-by romp with married inspector – but he quits before he can face dismissal

A FEMALE police sergeant was sacked from the force for having sex with a married inspector colleague.

Sarah Porter was two ranks below Rob Leet when they conducted a relationship while at work and misused Sussex Police systems to arrange their meetings.


A hearing in Lewes, East Sussex, was told the pair exchanged more than 700 messages, including hidden text of a "graphic sexual nature" in emails and acronyms, and tried to hide their trysts from colleagues.

And a disciplinary panel found their actions amounted to gross misconduct on Tuesday and decided both should be dismissed without notice.

Married father-of-four Leet quit the force last month after 22 years' service before he could face the hearing, but the sanction means he will be barred from re-joining the police.

FINAL DECISION

Announcing the decision, chairwoman Victoria Goodfellow said: "The public would be appalled to learn two police officers were found in sexual activity at a time when they were supposed to be protecting them and upholding the law."

Leet and Porter, who has served as a police officer for 18 years, both denied having sex on duty between August 2015 and February 2017.

Porter, who has a daughter with her former husband — another police officer — admitted kissing but claimed it did not amount to sexual activity.

However, the disciplinary panel found the allegation proved and Ms Goodfellow said: "That sexual activity was at least kissing and, on the balance of probabilities, more."

Porter, who attended the hearing wearing police uniform, was also found to have failed to attend a fatal crash on July 3 2017 while she was uncontactable for 10 minutes.

PORTER'S DEFENCE

Stephen Chippeck, representing Porter, had urged the panel to "allow her to continue to do the job she both loves and is good at".

He said his client was allowed to return to work in December 2017, and has had to carry out the most "horrendous" duties in the road traffic unit.

The hearing was told she received a certificate of congratulations and a humanitarian reward after "putting herself in harm's way" to rescue a man from the River Ouse, saving his life.

But announcing her dismissal from the force, Ms Goodfellow told her: "Your actions are likely to have caused harm to the reputation of Sussex Police and the policing profession."

She added: "Your actions were for sexual gratification. You used your operational independence to further your relationship with Chief Inspector Leet and concealed your relationship, although we accept you were led in this by Chief Inspector Leet."

SEPARATE SCANDAL

Leet, who did not attend the hearing, was also found to have taken advantage of a "potentially vulnerable" victim of domestic abuse by having a sexual relationship with her.

He had denied accusations that he developed an inappropriate relationship with a victim of crime between November 2014 and January 2016 while he was on duty as a serving officer.

But the allegations were found proved after the hearing was told that Leet met the woman, referred to as Miss A, at a domestic abuse action group he chaired as a district commander.

Amy Clarke, representing Sussex Police, said what began as a friendship developed into a "sexual relationship which went on for some time".

The pair met up while he was on duty, including at Miss A's home, and exchanged messages of an "explicit sexual nature", the hearing was told.

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The panel chairwoman said Leet's rank "afforded him power and influence" and that his actions were a "gross abuse of his position with a vulnerable victim for sexual gratification".

"His actions may have caused psychological harm to Miss A," he said.

"His actions were for sexual gratification in relation to both Miss A and Sergeant Porter."

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