Former Cleveland Police officer barred after 'astonishing' on duty sex acts exposed

Cleveland Police officer Matthew Lewis has been barred from serving after a misconduct hearing. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

A former police officer has been barred after his "astonishing" on duty sex acts with a colleague on police premises came to light.

Former Cleveland Police officer Matthew Lewis was subject to a misconduct hearing, which heard how Mr Lewis engaged in sex acts with another officer while on police premises and while on duty.

PC Lewis also sent images of a woman, known only as Miss A, without her consent to another officer.

The officer had lied in an interview when asked as identical images of Miss A were found on Mr Lewis's laptop and the other officer's mobile phone.

Mark Lay Morgan, who was representing Cleveland Police, had previously described PC Lewis' actions as “quite astonishing sexual behaviour over a protractive period of time”.

Stephen Gowland, chairman of the independent panel, outlined the verdict that Mr Lewis would have been dismissed without notice had he still been employed with the force.

Mr Gowland said: "This is not acceptable behaviour for any police officer whilst on duty and in police premises. We find he has breached discreditable conduct."

"Former officer Lewis would have been dismissed had he still been a member of the police force," said Mr Gowland.

Lewis was also found to have breached the standards of honesty, integrity and confidentiality.

Allegations he engaged in sex acts in a police van, which had been denied by Mr Lewis and the other police officer, were not found proven by the panel.

However the panel said the sexual activity, which took place in police premises, continued over a sustained period of time "when they should have realised it was inappropriate".

Following the verdict, detective chief inspector John Bonner said: “Former police officer Matthew Lewis resigned from Cleveland Police during an investigation by the Force’s Directorate of Standards and Ethics department following an allegation of misconduct.

“Despite his resignation and there being no criminal offences found, Cleveland Police continued to investigate him under police conduct regulations to ensure a thorough investigation.

"The panels determination, that Matthew Lewis would have been dismissed had he still been a serving police officer, ensures he will permanently be barred from any future employment in the police service.

“We understand that the public will be concerned by this behaviour from a police officer and would like to assure the public that this will not be tolerated and any officer or member of staff behaving in this manner will be held to account.”

Paul Crowley, on behalf of the police federation, previously told the hearing that Mr Lewis accepts his conduct and agrees it amounts to gross misconduct.

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