'Intoxicated' PC David Edwards groped colleagues' breasts

David Edwards Image copyright Cumbria Police
Image caption It is understood David Edwards' service officially ended on Sunday

An "extremely intoxicated" police officer grabbed the breasts of two female officers and groped the bottom of a third on a Christmas night out, a disciplinary panel has heard.

The incidents happened just weeks after PC David Edwards, of Cumbria Police, had been given a final written warning over an alleged domestic assault.

He later resigned from the force.

The panel ruled his behaviour amounted to gross misconduct and said he would have been sacked.

The party took in bars in Ulverston and was attended by about 40 members of staff.

'Disgusted and ashamed'

Edwards, 50, made no comment when he was interviewed in connection with criminal proceedings which were not pursued.

However, in private messages with his manager 11 days after the night out he said he had no recollection of events.

Edwards, who had 11 years' service, said he had been "far too drunk" and added he was "absolutely embarrassed, disgusted and ashamed by what I've done".

The panel found Edwards had become "extremely intoxicated" and in one bar he grabbed the breast of a woman, identified as officer A.

She responded with an expletive and told him: "Don't be stupid."

In another bar, a second woman - officer B - told how Edwards "grabbed my bum".

A third - officer C - reported he had deliberately grabbed her breast inside the same premises.

In their conclusion delivered at the end of the hearing, the panel members said: "The touching was uninvited, unwarranted and it was inappropriate.

"This was repeated and sustained behaviour albeit over a short period of time. There is no mitigation for the behaviour. This is a case of sexual impropriety

"Had PC Edwards still been a member of Cumbria police, he would have been dismissed."

Edwards, who did not attend the hearing, has a right of appeal to the Police Appeals Tribunal.

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