Officer found guilty of ‘inappropriate sexual relationship’ with witness

An Essex Police officer who pursued an “inappropriate sexual relationship” with a woman who was a key witness in a case he was investigating has been found guilty of misconduct in public office.

Mar 1, 2024
By Paul Jacques
Picture: Essex Police

Police Constable Georgie Bean, 31, had denied the offence but was found guilty by a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court on Thursday (February 29) following an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

He received a community order to carry out 50 hours of unpaid work and was ordered to pay £1,200 in costs.

PC Bean, who is based in Basildon, was the officer in charge of an investigation into a racially aggravated assault case. He came into contact with the woman in October 2020 as she was the sole witness in the case.

“On November 20, 2020, he visited her at home to take a witness statement and returned later that same day when they engaged in sexual activity,” said the IOPC.

“After the encounter, PC Bean distanced himself from the woman and admitted to what had happened to his supervisor.”

His behaviour was referred to the force’s Professional Standards Department, which made a conduct referral to the IOPC in December 2020.

“We looked at the nature and extent of contact between PC Bean and the woman from September 21, 2020, to December 2, 2020, and his actions prior to and following contact with her,” the IOPC said.

“On completion of our investigation in December 2021 we sent a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service, which authorised the charge against him.”

IOPC regional director Charmaine Arbouin said: “PC Bean was found to have formed an inappropriate relationship with a woman, who was the sole independent witness to an assault that he was in charge of investigating.

“He clearly failed to maintain appropriate and professional boundaries between himself and the woman and his actions amounted to a criminal offence. He has now been held accountable for his behaviour.”

The IOPC said during its 12-month investigation, PC Bean was interviewed under criminal caution. Evidence was obtained from his mobile phone and the relevant policies, guidance and legislation examined. Investigators also interviewed the woman and two of her friends.

“We also found PC Bean should face a gross misconduct hearing for breaches of the professional behaviour standards relating to authority, respect and courtesy; conduct; honesty and integrity; orders and instructions; and confidentiality,” it added. “Following the conclusion of criminal proceedings, it will now be for the force to arrange a disciplinary hearing.”

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