Policeman was '˜sexting' colleague while on duty

A Blackpool policeman sent an explicit photograph to a colleague while on duty, a disciplinary hearing was told.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 6th October 2016, 10:22 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 5:01 pm
PC Julian Berry
PC Julian Berry

It was also alleged married traffic officer Julian Berry had driven away from the division to engage in a romantic relationship.

He also is alleged to have assisted his wife in running a business selling soiled underwear on the internet.

Further allegations against PC Berry, heard by the panel, sitting at Leyland police station, include:

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That he ignored two ‘code one’ emergency calls while on duty as he chatted to clubbers;

That he spent more than 30 hours on duty in a coffee shop at Westholme Service Station, during which time he made inappropriate remarks to staff;

That he made unwelcome and unsolicited approaches to police colleagues and members of the public, over a 10-year period;

That he gave a lift home, in a marked police car, to a woman he had met through the website fabswingers; and

That he sent messages admitted having been asleep on duty.

Oliver Williamson, representing Lancashire Police, laid out four charges relating to discreditable conduct, dereliction of duty being involved in an unauthorised business interest.

He said PC Berry had failed to uphold police values. On January 1, 2015 PC Berry was alleged to have approached a member of Starbucks staff, asking, ‘Where is my new year’s kiss?’ On another occasion, he made a sexually-explicit remark to the same person. PC Berry was said to be a frequent visitor to the coffee shop, where he is also alleged to have made suggestive remarks about the sister of another staff member and made an unsolicited approach to a customer.

Mr Williamson said: “PC Berry’s behaviour made staff feel uncomfortable and intimidated. One member of staff said of him, ‘I think he is just an old pervert’.”

It was alleged PC Berry made advances to police staff and members of the public.

Reported incidents date back to August 2005, when he is alleged to have made a sexual proposition to a communications officer.

Mr Williamson said: “He arrived at her home in a marked police car having been invited to have a look at her new caravan. He made propositions which she rejected.”

It’s also alleged he sent an unsolicited text message to a civilian detention officer.

PC Berry was also accused of making ‘unwanted contact and advances’ over email to another member of staff.

The woman said the exchange, in April 2014 ‘made her skin crawl’. Mr Williamson said PC Berry had spent more than 30 hours over a six-month period at the Starbucks.

The inquiry was told that between February 2013 and April 2015 PC Berry had repeatedly messaged a PC, including 60 in one shift. Some were of a sexual nature.

Between September 2014 and May 2015 records from PC Berry’s phone showed he sent numerous messages to a special constable. This included two shots of himself in his boxer shorts and exposing himself, all while on duty.

From May 2014 to June 2015 a total of 1,885 personal messages were sent while on duty. Mr Williamson said: “It is difficult argument to suggest that sexting while at work is appropriate.”

PC Berry also sent two messages in which he admitted having been asleep on duty.

On February 12 2015 he texted: “I’ve just been asleep on the M55... not good on earlies.”

Concerns were also raised by senior officers that the PC had ignored blue light calls.

On May 15 2015 he ignored requests to attend an assault in Hornby Road, remaining parked outside Walkabout in Queen Street until specifically instructed to attend.

At midnight on May 17, 2015, he was requested to attend another assault but said he could not as he was already ‘dealing with a vehicle’.

But a senior officer saw PC Berry in his car outside Ego in Market Street. He kept the PC under observation and at no point saw the vehicle. PC Berry’s actions were reported and the officer who spotted him said he had been ‘engaging in conversation from the driver’s seat with women’.

The same month, PC Berry is alleged to have given a lift home to a woman he met on the website fabswingers.

And on the same day he is alleged to have driven away from the Blackpool area – during work time – to meet a PC with whom he was having a sexual relationship.

In her written evidence she said: “We would meet most days. He would drive over from where he was to see me.”

The final charge related to a business which was run by PC Berry’s wife, which sold soiled underwear through an internet auction site.

She was cautioned in December last year under the postal services act as the posting of the underwear was deemed a criminal offence.

Mr Williamson said: “He was engaged in a business which had at its heart a criminal offence.”

He said PC Berry had shown a “fundamental lack of integrity”.

PC Berry was not present at the hearing and the panel was told he had not attended misconduct interviews, despite three requests to do so.

He was suspended from duty on June 12 last year.

PC Berry has made no representations to the hearing, which is set to resume today.