Detective at Bedwas who farted on duty and asked about colleague’s sex life fired
News | | Published: 14:30, Tuesday March 19th, 2019.
Last updated: 23:07, Monday March 25th, 2019
A detective who broke wind and repeatedly swore in front of fellow police officers has been sacked.
Detective Constable Claire Fitzpatrick, 44, was accused of unprofessional behaviour, amounting to gross misconduct, between July 2017 and December 2017 while she was posted as a temporary sergeant at Bedwas police station.
A Gwent Police misconduct found 25 allegations of inappropriate behaviour proven and dismissed her without notice.
As well as using the C-word at colleagues, Fitzpatrick also told a member of the public he was driving like one.
Fitzpatrick, who denied the misconduct, told the misconduct hearing that her behaviour was part of “a culture of banter” at the station.
She told the police force disciplinary hearing that she would often speak in silly voices “like the character Borat” and would use the phrase “rather out than in”.
Mother-of-two Fitzpatrick also allegedly asked a male PC if he had a girlfriend and whether he wanted an affair with “an older woman”.
When he said no, she allegedly replied: “I’ll be gentle, I promise.”
But Fitzpatrick insisted she was joking and told the panel: “I met the officer a couple of months before. There was a bit of banter.
“I don’t know how the conversation started but we started speaking about whether he had a girlfriends or children.
“I said: ‘Well if you ever fancy an affair with a fatter, ugly, older woman who wears glasses I have a number’.”
The junior officer responded “No thank you” to which Fitzpatrick “pretended to throw up in her mouth”.
Fitzpatrick said: “I thought instantly that I had said the wrong thing at the wrong time. I went over to him, put my hand on his shoulder and said that I didn’t mean it, that he didn’t know my sense of humour and that I was sorry. He kind of acknowledged that. He knew I wasn’t serious.”
She also admitted breaking wind outside the sergeant’s office at the station – but said: “It wasn’t deliberately”.
She said: “I would joke about it. Sometimes I would speak like the character Borat, or use a silly voice to say ‘rather out than in’.”
The misconduct hearing at Gwent Police Headquarters in Cwmbran was told Fitzpatrick would regularly swear and once arrested a motorist telling him: “You’re driving like a c***”.
She told the panel: “The officer with me said ‘Sergeant, you can’t say that to him’.
“I took a deep breath with my head in my hands, and said I’m sorry to the driver.
“The driver also apologised for his driving and his manner towards us.”
Fitzpatrick also asked another woman officer if she “had any cream for thrush’ while inside the packed police station.
She accepted saying it but denied it was done in a “bullying’ manner”.
She said: “I wasn’t suffering from thrush at the time, so I wasn’t asking her some literally.
“It was just another example of stupid, inappropriate things being said.”