Accused detective deleted texts 'to tidy phone'

Dorset Police HQ Image copyright John Lamper
Image caption The three-day hearing is taking place at Dorset Police headquarters in Winfrith

A police detective accused of making unwanted sexual advances to a woman says he deleted text messages between them to keep his phone tidy.

Det Con Nick Gravenor is alleged to have assaulted the woman when he visited her at home in August 2015.

He told a Dorset Police misconduct panel he had deleted the entire conversation thread with the woman because they no longer kept in touch.

Det Con Gravenor denies breaching the force's code of professional standards.

The panel previously heard he went to the woman's home where he touched and kissed her against her will before sexually assaulting her on a sofa bed.

Giving evidence on the second day of the hearing, he accepted he had visited the woman because she was going through a "rough time" but the only physical contact was a platonic "hands on shoulders, bumping of cheeks" greeting - "the kind you would give your grandmother".

Det Con Gravenor is also accused of inappropriately touching the woman while he was on duty, using sexualised language and using the police database to conduct unauthorised searches on her.

When asked whether he had flirted with the woman, he said: "She opened up to me about troubles in her life. We had friendly banter - I didn't see it as flirtatious - I saw it as humour."

Questioned whether he had used inappropriate language, he said: "Absolutely not. I'm not a crude individual. I'm not comfortable talking about crude things like that."

He told the hearing the first he knew of the allegations against him was when he was interviewed under caution in 2018.

The hearing is expected to conclude on Wednesday.

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