York & North Yorkshire

'I love weed' hat PC Simon Ryan sacked from North Yorkshire Police

Newby Wiske police headquarters
Image caption The hearing at Newby Wiske is the first force disciplinary open to the public

A police officer who wore a woolly hat with the words "I love weed" while on duty has been sacked from the force.

A disciplinary panel found PC Simon Ryan of North Yorkshire Police guilty of gross misconduct.

It also heard he defaced a suspect's CV with the words "kiddie fiddler" and "paedo" during a child abuse inquiry.

The panel concluded the appropriate sanction "was dismissal without notice, demonstrating the gravity attached by the panel to the gross misconduct".

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PC Ryan, who did not speak at the hearing, had earlier apologised for what he said was "a poor practical joke".

Afterwards, PC Brad Jackson, deputy secretary of North Yorkshire Police Federation, said: "This has been a very difficult period in PC Ryan's career and personal life which he accepts was brought on by his own doing.

"[He] has apologised unreservedly for his actions and extends his apology to the public and people of North Yorkshire.

He said the federation would "continue to support Simon as he moves forward".

'Diligent and hard-working'

Panel Chairman Lindsey Hall ruled PC Ryan had breached six standards which police officers should uphold and had shown a lack of respect.

She told him: "The public have the right to expect the highest standards of behaviour and conduct from the police officers who serve them."

She said his admission of defacing the CV would have to be disclosed if he was allowed to remain in his job and if he was involved in searches as part of criminal proceedings. That would affect his operational ability to carry out his duties, she said.

Guy Ladenburg, for the defendant, had urged the panel to allow him to continue on the force and described him as a "diligent and hard-working" officer of 13 years' experience.

He added: "This officer intended simply to make a joke for the benefit of his colleagues. We recognise, of course, how inappropriate that is."

The panel heard PC Ryan found the CV at a house during a search into an allegation of a sex offence involving a child in January 2015.

He amended it to say "abusing children" in the section marked "interests" before showing it to colleagues, the hearing was told.

The panel was told he did not record it as evidence and later destroyed it at Northallerton Police Station.

Ten days later he was on duty wearing the hat both in the office and while on patrol.

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