Wales

Gwent Police detective fired for breaking wind and swearing

Claire Fitzpatrick Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Claire Fitzpatrick has been sacked from Gwent Police after 22 years' service

A detective who broke wind and repeatedly swore on duty has been sacked for gross misconduct.

Former Det Con Claire Fitzpatrick, 44, was fired by Gwent Police on Tuesday after 25 allegations of inappropriate behaviour were proven against her.

Ms Fitzpatrick admitted breaking wind outside a sergeant's office at the police station in Bedwas, Caerphilly county, but said it was accidental.

She also used a four-letter word to tell a motorist how he was driving.

The hearing in Cwmbran heard Ms Fitzpatrick, who was an acting sergeant at the time, also asked a junior officer if he wanted an affair with a "fatter, ugly, older woman".

She admitted using foul language, but said it was part of "a culture of banter" at the station.

Mother-of-two Ms Fitzpatrick has now been dismissed by the force after 22 years.

Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Ms Fitzpatrick broke wind outside a sergeant's office at the police station in Bedwas

After insulting an arrested motorist, she said the accompanying officer told her: "Sergeant, you can't say that to him.

"I took a deep breath with my head in my hands, and said 'I'm sorry' to the driver."

Ms Fitzpatrick also asked another female officer if she "had any cream for thrush" while inside the packed police station.

'Butt of jokes'

Nick Gedge, representing Ms Fitzpatrick, said the detective had never faced misconduct allegations before.

"She would often make herself the butt of the jokes to jolly along an atmosphere, as it were," Mr Gedge said.

The hearing was told Ms Fitzpatrick's team was understaffed and could be seen as a "difficult shift" to manage.

Colleagues described her as having a "unique sense of humour" and being "crude with her comments".

Ms Fitzpatrick admitted using bad language, but denied saying it in a demeaning way.

"When you read these allegations you hang your head in embarrassment and shame," she said.

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