Bristol

PC 'didn't tell paramedics about woman's overdose'

Avon And Somerset Police HQ
Image caption PC Emma Benson-Shaw is facing a misconduct hearing at the force's Portishead HQ

A police officer has denied treating an alleged sex assault victim differently because she was a crack addict. 

An Avon and Somerset Police misconduct hearing was told PC Emma Benson-Shaw did not tell paramedics the suicidal woman had taken an overdose.

The hearing was told she saw the victim as "a drug addict and a sex worker" who "wasn't worth further time and effort".

PC Benson-Shaw said she was "absolutely certain" the woman's claim she had taken all her tablets was inaccurate. 

The officer told the hearing she knew this because she had seen the medication.

According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, the hearing was told PC Benson-Shaw was called to a hostel last summer, where she was told by the woman that she had overdosed - but took it as a "throwaway comment". 

The woman was later found unresponsive, but PC Benson-Shaw did not relay the claim to paramedics that she had taken all her pills. 

'Couldn't be bothered'

Representing Avon and Somerset Police, barrister Elliot Gold said the "distressed, tearful and vulnerable" woman told PC Benson-Shaw the drugs had been taken, and that she was suffering health problems and her mother was dying.

"That was only going to increase her risk of suicide," he said.

"You couldn't be bothered to do any more... [for someone] who wasn't worth further time and effort."

The officer denied turning off her body-worn camera to collude with her colleague, PC Joshua Stevens - who also faces misconduct allegations - on how to get away from the scene.

She said she did so because it was "awkward and embarrassing" that neither of them knew what to do. 

The hearing at the force's HQ in Portishead is expected to end later this week.

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