Somerset

PC believed domestic abuse victim was 'anti-men'

The HQ of Avon And Somerset Police and Avon Fire and Rescue in Portishead.
Image caption The panel found that ex-PC Stickley lacked empathy towards the domestic abuse victim

An ex-police officer has been found guilty of gross misconduct for his treatment of a domestic abuse victim.

PC Mark Stickley, who resigned before the misconduct panel took place, was called to an incident in October 2018.

The woman said her ex-partner had broken into her house and "punched her head into a wall".

However, the panel heard PC Stickley did not believe the woman's allegations and claimed she was "playing a game" with them.

The professional standards panel said PC Stickley would have been dismissed if he had not resigned following a cancer diagnosis.

'So-called victim'

It ruled that he acted out of "ill-temper, prejudice and impatience" towards the woman, referred to as Miss A.

Representing the force, Anthony Searle said it was unprofessional and insensitive when Mr Stickley disputed that there had been any violence. 

"He said she was anti-men and Miss A was playing a game with them. 

"He said Mr P [the alleged assailant] hadn't been violent when he'd just been told he had been. 

"He didn't have to accept what Miss A said as true but he should have treated it seriously. 

"He said his time had been wasted because Miss A was being unreasonable and [he] needed to go to bed.

"Mr Stickley failed to treat Miss A fairly or show her empathy as a potential victim of domestic violence," said Mr Searle.

The officer's report later called Miss A a "so-called victim".

Police Federation representative Mark Loper said PC Stickley had been off sick in September 2018 with fatigue after being part of the response to the Novichok poisoning in Salisbury earlier in the year. 

He said Mr Stickley had had an unblemished 27-year record and had been instrumental in getting body-worn cameras used in domestic abuse cases. 

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites