Drunken police officer maintains complaint about his behaviour was ‘vexatious’

A SENIOR officer who got drunk at a cybercrime conference tried to persuade investigating colleagues that the complaint against him was ‘vexatious’, a disciplinary hearing was told.

Detective Inspector John Stansmore is accused of treating the two-day conference in Cardiff as a ‘jolly’ and headed to the pub instead of attending the training sessions.

DI Stansmore is facing the sack if an independent disciplinary panel find him guilty of gross misconduct following allegations he behaved inappropriately during the conference in September 2019.

Panel members heard how the officer called Cleveland Police’s Department of Standards and Ethics to raise concerns about the length of the investigation and told a lower ranking officer that the complaint against him was ‘vexatious’.

Detective Chief Inspector Matt Murphy-King, who was working in the DSE at the time, told the hearing how he overheard a conversation between DI Stansmore and Detective Constable Andrew Corbett that caused him ‘concern’.

He said: “I knew immediately after DC Corbett ended the call and put the phone down, DI Stansmore said the complaint was vexatious and should be downgraded.”

The officer said he asked his colleague to report the telephone call to the force’s management team as he was concerned about its content.

Guy Ladenburg, representing DI Stansmore, asked DCI Murphy-King whether it was unusual for an officer under investigation to contact the DSE directly to find out how the case was progressing.

He replied: “He was concerned about the length of the investigation and whether he would be able to be deployed with the national cybercrime team.”

Earlier in the hearing, Detective Sergeant Wayne Sinclair, from Durham Constabulary, told the hearing that DI Stansmore had been drinking while at the conference but denied the officer had done anything inappropriate.

The gross misconduct hearing into the officer’s behaviour continues.

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The Northern Echo | Teesside