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  1. ITV Report

Police officer sacked after touching colleague’s bottom at Christmas do

PC James McCall was dismissed without notice. Credit: ITV News West Country

A police officer who touched a female colleague’s bottom and slapped her at a work Christmas party has been sacked.

James McCall had been drinking before he arrived for the party at Sheppy’s House of Cider in Taunton in December 2018.

He also abused two junior officers and made homophobic slurs at the event.

A disciplinary panel at Avon and Somerset Police said McCall had breached standards of authority and conduct, and dismissed him without notice.

The disciplinary hearing took place at the Avon and Somerset Police HQ in Portishead. Credit: ITV News West Country

The panel heard the officer, who was suffering from mental health problems, had not wanted to attend the work do but had been persuaded by a colleague.

Barrister George Thomas said PC McCall found social events difficult and, despite an “anxious” start, began buying drinks and tried to be “the life and soul of the party”.

He ordered 15 shots of Sambuca for members of a female choir having a separate Christmas party downstairs, and swore at a male officer in front of two of the women.

The abused officer reported PC McCall’s conduct that night, which included abusing two junior officers and touching the bottom of a staff member at the venue.

On two occasions, PC James McCall made abusive and highly offensive comments to colleagues while off-duty.

The first incident saw him using offensive language towards PCSOs in Taunton town centre in September 2018.

The second incident was at a social event in Taunton in December 2018 in which he behaved completely inappropriately and used deeply offensive and discriminatory language towards his colleagues. All forms of discriminatory behaviour and conduct are completely inexcusable and have no place in the police service.

– Supt Simon Wilstead, head of professional standards

The officer, who received a series of commendations throughout his career, did not attend the misconduct hearing or respond to the allegations in any way.

An application to have the hearing adjourned on mental health grounds was denied.

The panel, led by independent chair Peter Cadman, found PC McCall had breached standards of authority, respect and courtesy, conduct, and duties and responsibilities.

Mr Cadman, who is legally qualified, said the breaches amounted to gross misconduct.

PC McCall was dismissed without notice.