A police officer from West Yorkshire Police was dismissed from the force for gross misconduct without notice after falsely claiming he was assaulted by The Acapulco Club’s door staff in a drunken 999 call.
PC Liam Simonet claimed that he had been punched three times by a bouncer at the Acapulco nightclub in Halifax in the early hours of 13 May, 2022.
He later updated the police log with false information to avoid the case being investigated, according to a misconduct hearing panel.
He had previously admitted misconduct but his actions were deemed to be gross misconduct.
The hearing was told the PC was on a night out with two colleagues when he was ejected from the nightclub.
He claimed that he had been trying to detain a man who was offering him drugs when the bouncer intervened.
CCTV footage showed he had not been punched by the door staff despite telling the 999 call handler that he had.
The following day, Simonet accessed the police system while off duty and updated the log, stating there was no CCTV from the club, even though there was.
His comments on the log included it was “not in the public interest to pursue” and asked for the job to be “tasked to me and I’ll get rid of it”.
According to the panel, the officer updated the log in a way that sought to mislead by suggesting that reasonable lines of enquiry had either been pursued, or there was no need to do so, “in order to shut down any investigation into his embarrassing conduct”.
PC Simonet told the misconduct panel that he had not been punched by door staff or pushed downstairs, but had genuinely felt this had happened at the time he made the 999 call.
He claimed that this was because his level of intoxication was “eight, on a scale of one to ten” and that this had impaired his ability to make properly informed decisions.
The panel heard that PC Simonet was well-respected by colleagues and was an experienced response officer of around two and a half years.
The panel chairman, Karimulla Khan, said: “Overall, the Panel finds that only dismissal without notice is the appropriate outcome in this case to reflect the seriousness of the misconduct and to protect the public.”
(Source: ITV News)
(Image: Acapulco Club, Halifax, Reputedly England’s oldest (open since 1962) night club.
Courtesy of Peter Hughes, via Flickr)