Officer who had sex with vulnerable victims on duty guilty of misconduct

A Merseyside Police officer who had sex with vulnerable women while on duty has been found guilty of misconduct in public office.

Sep 18, 2023
By Paul Jacques

On one occasion, PC Adam Hoyle, 39, had sex with a woman when he was meant to be searching for a missing person, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said.

Following a five-day trial at Liverpool Crown Court, PC Hoyle was found guilty of two counts of misconduct in public office. This was in addition to three charges he had previously admitted.

He was also convicted of two counts of unauthorised access to computer material.

He will be sentenced on October 27.

IOPC Regional Director Catherine Bates said PC Hoyle’s “vile actions” were a “disgusting betrayal” of public trust in the police.

The convictions follow three independent investigations by the IOPC into allegations the officer, who was based at Lower Lane police station, had abused his position for a sexual purpose by having “inappropriate contact” with vulnerable women he met in the course of his duties.

Following a referral in November 2019, it managed an investigation by Merseyside Police into allegations relating to PC Hoyle’s contact with the women.

In January 2020, after receiving additional information, the IOPC redetermined that the matter required independent investigation.

“Information uncovered during our inquiries led to a further referral in October 2020 and we began a second investigation into his contact with one of the women,” said the IOPC.

“We found evidence of a pattern of unprofessional behaviour towards vulnerable women. He formed inappropriate relationships with three women he met after they reported being a victim of crime.

“In two of these cases, PC Hoyle visited them while on duty, and travelled in a police vehicle, to have sex. On one of those occasions, in October 2016, he was supposed to be looking for a high-risk missing person at the time.”

The IOPC said it also found evidence PC Hoyle attempted to initiate a sexual relationship with another woman.

On conclusion of the investigations in January 2021 and January 2022, the cases were referred to the Crown Prosecution Service, which authorised charges in relation to PC Hoyle’s contact with three of the women.

Following media coverage of the charges, the IOPC said it has received three further referrals of complaints, which contained new allegations, between November 2022 and January 2023.

“We began a new independent investigation, which is looking at PC Hoyle’s contact with three more women and is ongoing,” it said.

“We found evidence of an inappropriate sexual relationship with one of these women and in March 2023 PC Hoyle made his first appearance in court to face a further charge of misconduct in public office. This was among the charges considered during the trial this month.”

Speaking after the conclusion of the trial on Friday (September 15), Ms Bates said: “There is absolutely no place in policing for officers who abuse their position for a sexual purpose. PC Hoyle’s vile actions are a disgusting betrayal of the trust placed in officers by the public.

“Our investigations found he not only took advantage of his job to pursue sexual relationships with vulnerable women, but in one case he visited a woman to have sex with her when he was supposed to be helping search for a high-risk missing person.

“Our investigations, carried out independently of the police, have ensured he has been held accountable for his actions, and he now has a criminal record. It will be for Merseyside Police to arrange disciplinary proceedings in due course.”

The IOPC said its initial investigations found PC Hoyle has a case to answer for gross misconduct in relation to his contact with seven women he met in the course of his duties. The third investigation, started in November 2022, remains ongoing.

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