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Thames Valley Police Officer sacked for abusing his position for sexual gain after assaulting junior colleague

A police officer has been sacked after sexually assaulting a junior officer as they walked around a park.

David Arnaud was dismissed from Thames Valley Police (TVP) after a tribunal found him guilty of gross misconduct.

Panel chair Karimulla Khan said the officer had abused his position for sexual gain and his behaviour was “unacceptable and inappropriate”.

Mr Arnaud said he was trying to be friendly and had not meant to make his colleague feel uncomfortable.

The panel was told Mr Arnaud’s victim, referred to as PC A, was just three days into her job last October when he repeatedly placed his hands around her waist, rubbed her bottom and tried to kiss her during the walk near their police station.

The station has not been named in order to protect the woman’s identity.

‘Fishing’

After the incident, the tribunal heard Mr Arnaud sent her a WhatsApp message saying: “There are other places to walk besides the park if you were up for those sometime? As long as you don’t think that I overstepped the mark or anything.”

The panel said the message was a “fishing” exercise to “test the waters” to see what PC A thought about his conduct at the park and to find out if she was going to make a complaint.

Mr Khan concluded: “The panel finds that the repeated and deliberate touching of PC A without her consent was sexual in nature and an abuse of the officer’s position for sexual gain.”

The tribunal found Mr Arnaud guilty of two further allegations of inappropriate behaviour, including resting his legs across hers as they sat at a desk in the police station, and sending flirtatious or sexual WhatsApp messages.

Mr Arnaud denied touching the officer’s bottom during the walk around the park but accepted he had sent inappropriate messages, saying they were an “escape” from “pressures” in his personal life.

The panel found found his conduct would cause “significant reputational damage to the TVP by reason of the current national concern over the inappropriate behaviours shown by male police officers towards women and girls”.

(Source: BBC)

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