Kent Police detective sacked over ‘flirty’ messages to victim
A detective who sent topless pictures to a victim of attempted rape and asked her about becoming her “sugar daddy” has been sacked with immediate effect.
Det Sgt Jonathan Pearce, 45, from Kent Police, was dismissed after being found to have committed gross misconduct.
A three-day misconduct hearing was told he sent “flirty” messages to the vulnerable woman he met on Facebook.
The panel ruled that he wanted a sexual or emotional relationship with her after she told him about the attack.
Mr Pearce was investigated following allegations that he had inappropriate contact with the woman, Ms A, in September and October 2019, and failed to take appropriate action when she reported an attempted rape by a third party in October last year.
The messages included sending sending her topless photographs and responding “maybe a little bit” after the woman said to him “you want me”.
He also asked what he would get after she sent him a screenshot from a newspaper article about sugar daddies; telling Miss A that if he were “20 years younger” he would have asked her out.
Giving the panel’s ruling, chairwoman Chiew Yin Jones said: “The officer’s failure to refer Miss A to the appropriate safeguarding processes left her potentially vulnerable to further harm.
“The panel was satisfied that the officer’s conduct was likely to undermine public confidence in policing.”
She said the long-serving officer had tried to conceal his involvement with Miss A by deleting messages between them.
In mitigation the panel recognised that the officer had no previous disciplinary matters on his record.
Ailsa Williamson, defending Mr Pearce, accepted his actions were “very serious misconduct” but had called on the panel to allow him to keep his job.
He has the right to appeal against the ruling.