15 June 2024

Police officer dismissed after an inappropriate sexual relationship with a vulnerable woman

A police officer who admitted four criminal charges relating to an inappropriate sexual relationship he began with a vulnerable woman he met while on duty has been dismissed without notice, following a gross misconduct hearing.

PC Darren Thorn, who worked as a response officer in Swindon, appeared at Reading Crown Court last month (29th November 2021) and pleaded guilty to one charge of corruption, two charges of computer misuse and one charge of misconduct in a public office.

He will be sentenced in February 2022, but, following his conviction, Wiltshire Police held a public gross misconduct hearing on the 13th and 14th of December.

The hearing, which was chaired by an independent Legally Qualified Chair, considered six counts of gross misconduct which related to a period of time between June 2016 and June 2018 and centred on an inappropriate sexual relationship that Thorn started with a vulnerable woman he met while on duty.

They included accessing police computer systems in order to obtain personal data about members of the public and passing on confidential policing information.

The hearing found that all six counts of gross misconduct were proven and PC Thorn has been dismissed from the Force with immediate effect.

PC Thorn was arrested in 2018 when the allegations came to light and immediately suspended from the Force. The investigation was carried out by Wiltshire Police, supervised by the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mills said, “PC Thorn significantly abused his position as a police officer by making contact with a vulnerable woman he met on duty and then going on to pursue a sexual relationship with her.

“Once in that relationship, he further betrayed the trust invested in him by the public, by illegally accessing police computer systems and obtaining personal information and data which he went on to pass to the woman.

“His actions were not only illegal, but were a consistent and sustained flagrant breach of the standards the police service and the public rightly expect of those who serve in the office of police constable.

“As soon as the Force was aware of these serious allegations, PC Thorn was immediately arrested and suspended from duty. In addition, the matters were referred to the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC).

“There is no place in the police service for individuals such as former officer PC Thorn and his actions have harmed trust and confidence in policing, whilst undermining the work of the exceptionally committed members of our organisation who strive to provide an outstanding service to the communities they serve.

“Wiltshire Police remains committed to ensuring each and every officer and staff member discharges their duties to the highest standards and, as this case proves, we will act swiftly and robustly when these are not met. Furthermore, if any member of the community has concerns relating to the professionalism of those who serve within our organisation, we would encourage them to come forward at the earliest opportunity.”

Written by
Beth Doherty
View all articles
Written by Beth Doherty