Manchester

Breast flash GMP police chief Rebekah Sutcliffe keeps job

Assistant Chief Constable Rebekah Sutcliffe
Image caption Assistant Chief Constable Rebekah Sutcliffe had admitted misconduct but had denied gross misconduct

A top police officer who exposed a breast and mocked a colleague's "boob job" has been allowed to keep her job.

Assistant Chief Constable Rebekah Sutcliffe, 47, told temporary Supt Sarah Jackson she would "always just be known as the girl who had the tit job".

In December, a disciplinary panel ruled the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) officer had breached standards of professional behaviour.

But Deputy Chief Constable Ian Pilling ruled she could keep her job.

Ms Sutcliffe told Ms Jackson - who has since transferred to Cumbria Police - her "credibility was zero", she was as a "laughing stock" and that she was "silly, vain and frivolous" for going under the knife.

'Silicone for self-esteem'

She is alleged to have said: "It does not matter how hard you work now, because you will always just be known as the girl who had the tit job."

She then pulled down the front of her dress to expose her left breast and said: "Look at these, look at these, these are the breasts of someone who has had three children.

"They are ugly, but I don't feel the need to pump myself full of silicone to get self-esteem."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Ms Sutcliffe had admitted misconduct but denied gross misconduct

The panel heard Ms Sutcliffe made repeated attempts to apologise to Ms Jackson the following day and told her she "deeply regretted" it.

She later said she was "frazzled" and had been drinking too much to cope with stress in her personal and professional life.

The panel stated her gross misconduct had taken her to the "very" brink of dismissal, but accepted it was out of character and recommended a final written warning.

'Unkind and unfair'

The officers were attending a Senior Women In Policing conference at Manchester's Hilton Hotel when Ms Sutcliffe verbally attacked her colleague.

Ms Sutcliffe, who was the most senior female GMP officer at the time, had admitted misconduct but denied gross misconduct.

Her counsel, John Beggs QC, had handed the panel more than 200 pages of testimonials, with many officers speaking of Ms Sutcliffe as "inspirational", "visionary" and "a strong leader".

Announcing his decision to follow the panel's recommendation, Mr Pilling said: "Despite being absolutely appalled at her behaviour and all too aware of the damage to public confidence, I do not think I can take a different view without any significant reason to do so."

Following the decision, Ms Sutcliffe expressed "deep regret" about what happened and said the "responsibility for what happened is mine and mine alone".

'Legally little alternative'

"I did not mean any of the things that I said and I am dismayed that I was so unkind and unfair," she added.

"I am very grateful that I have been given the opportunity to return to work.

"On my return, I will bring the very best of my abilities to serve policing and the public as well as I am able."

Ian Hopkins, chief constable of GMP, said it had been "an incredibly difficult time" for the police service, where "the events in May... cast a shadow over what was an important event to recognise the contribution of women in policing".

"The details in the report have clearly outlined the panel's position and legally left little alternative but to follow the panel's recommendation."

He added: "ACC Sutcliffe has been given a chance to demonstrate that she is committed to serving the people of Greater Manchester.

"We will now work with her to consider how she best achieves this in support of Greater Manchester Police. "

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