Former Cleveland police officer barred after receiving 'disgusting' WhatsApp video

The former officer was aware of the hearing in Stockton but did not attend. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

A former Cleveland police officer who admitted possessing a “disgusting” video after receiving it in a WhatsApp group has been found guilty of gross misconduct.

PC Phillip Taylor - who served with Cleveland Police for 18 years - was barred from serving as an officer again following a disciplinary hearing.

He was sent a video, which showed a person performing a sex act with a dog, on a WhatsApp group for football fans which included 43 people, the hearing was told.

Detective Constable Susan Moore, the investigating officer, described the video, under the legislation, as “grossly offensive, disgusting or of an otherwise obscene character”.

She said he should have deleted and reported the video, but he did nothing with it for more than a year until it was found on his phone.

Mr Taylor accepted a caution for possessing an extreme pornographic video in July and resigned from the force that month.

The former officer was aware of the hearing in Stockton but did not attend.

Chief Constable Mark Webster, who led the hearing, said the evidence was irrefutable.

He added that, prior to his resignation, Mr Taylor had previously accepted that he would be dismissed for the offence.

Mr Webster said: “I am conscious of the wider scrutiny that police conduct is under at the moment and for the need to reassure the public that standards are being upheld.”

He said Mr Taylor would have been dismissed if he had not already stood down, and said he will be barred from working for the police again.

The chief constable clarified that the WhatsApp group was not for police officers, but was based around football.

After the hearing, he told reporters: “His behaviour was disgusting, I am not having that in this force.”

Peter Littlewood, the vice chair of Cleveland Police Federation who represented Mr Taylor, told the hearing: “He sincerely apologises not only for the work he has created for our service, but also for any harm his behaviour may have caused.”

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