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Police sergeant stuck photo of a female colleague’s face onto porn, tribunal hears

A police sergeant stuck a photo of a female colleague’s face on to a pornographic picture and sent it as a Secret Santa gift, a disciplinary hearing was told.

Sergeant Rob Adams, 37, who is based in Hastings, East Sussex, covered the naked model’s private parts with stickers and then framed the image.

The married father-of-two also bombarded colleagues with explicit pornographic material and lewd comments on a WhatsApp group.

Sergeant Adams is also accused of making derogatory sexual remarks about a woman officer and rating her physical looks.

The officer, who appeared in front of the panel today, denied gross misconduct but admits misconduct.

Sergeant Rob Adams (pictured), 37, stuck a photo of a female colleague’s face on to a porn picture and sent it as a Secret Santa gift, a disciplinary hearing was told

If charges of gross misconduct are upheld then the officer could be sacked.

A police disciplinary panel heard that in December 2017 Sergeant Adams made a Secret Santa gift for a male colleague.

He cut out an image of a naked model from a pornographic magazine and then obtained a photograph of a junior female colleague – identified only as PC X – and cut out her face.

The officer then covered the nipples and genital area with stickers and attached the photo of PC X to the image.

Sergeant Adams then framed the picture and sent it to the male colleague, PC John Hicks, as a Secret Santa gift who shared it on a the WhatsApp group that included PC X.

The officer, who has 13 years service in Sussex Police, is also accused of sharing and commenting on explicit images and texts on a 20-officer strong WhatsApp group.

Sergeant Adams is also accused of making derogatory sexual remarks about a woman officer

Sergeant Adams is also accused of making derogatory sexual remarks about a woman officer 

James Berry, for Sussex Police, said Sergeant Adams behaviour between 2017 and 2019 was ‘inappropriate’ and ‘unacceptable’.

He said: ‘His behaviour was totally unacceptable; unacceptable for any police officer but very seriously aggravated by his position as section sergeant.

‘In that role he was required to set an example, to encourage and reinforce the standards of behaviour and code of ethics.

‘But instead over 17 months he participated in and encouraged the very type of bad behaviour that he should have been standing against. A higher standard was expected of him.’

The disciplinary panel heard that Sergeant Adams and several other officers also shared and commented on dozens of explicit images and videos which were posted on the WhatsApp group.

The officer also negatively rated the physical appearance of one female officer on the WhatsApp group while also praising the looks of another female colleague.

Mr Berry said: ‘Sergeant Adams was expected to promote and instil a code of ethics, he was expected to lead by example, he was expected and required to challenge improper conduct.

Sergeant Adams is based in Hastings in East Sussex. The town's police station is pictured

Sergeant Adams is based in Hastings in East Sussex. The town’s police station is pictured 

‘What is significant is he did not just fail to challenge the actions of others officers he participated in it and indeed some of the worst content came from him so instead of setting an example of how to behave this supervisor set and example of how not to behave and that clearly set the tone for how his subordinates behaved.’

The hearing was told Sergeant Adams had claimed it was a private Whatsapp group with a ‘close-knit team’ who worked and socialised with each other and the messages should be viewed as private.

The panel heard than none of the officers on the WhatsApp group had complained and did not view the messages, images and videos as offensive.

In a separate case, Detective Sergeant Paul Elrick (above) told a ­junior officer she was 'sexy' and looked and smelled 'gorgeous'

In a separate case, Detective Sergeant Paul Elrick (above) told a ­junior officer she was ‘sexy’ and looked and smelled ‘gorgeous’ 

In another exchange the hearing was told Sergeant Adams remarked on the looks of another officer in a derogatory way and took part in a conversation in which it suggested she enjoyed a certain form of sex and looked like ‘a whale’.

He said: ‘This was a police officer and a WhatsApp group of police officers. It was not just an off-duty social group for a football side or for curry evenings or something like that.’

Sergeant Adams, who is married with two children, is accused of breaching Sussex Police’s equality and diversity rules.

He is accused of breaching standards of professional behaviour in respect of authority, respect and courtesy, duties and responsibilities and also failing to challenge and report improper discreditable conduct.

The allegations come after a detective at the same station in Hastings was found guilty of gross misconduct last week for smacking a female officer on the bottom with a ruler.

Detective Sergeant Paul Elrick told a ­junior officer she was ‘sexy’ and looked and smelled ‘gorgeous’.

After the officer offered to make him a cup of tea, 48-year-old Elrick pinged her across the ­buttocks with a ruler as she walked past his desk.

Gross misconduct charges were proven for the ‘schoolboy’ behaviour but a disciplinary panel in Lewes ruled that he could keep his job after handing him a final written warning. 

The hearing continues.


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