A police officer hauled before a misconduct hearing has been told that his previously-unblemished record is what narrowly saved him from the sack
Pc Andrew Tideswell was brought before a panel on Thursday which included Assistant Chief Constable Simon Torr to answer 15 allegations which included sending text messages that were racist and homophobic about victims of crime he had been dealing with.
The 38-year-old from Mansfield Woodhouse argued that the text messages, which had been sent to his then girlfriend and serving officer at the time, Samantha Goodwin, were private and never intended to be made public.
Following more than six hours of deliberation, the panel at Nottinghamshire Police headquarters at Sherwood Lodge were satisfied that Pc Tideswell, who works out of Mansfield Police Station, had breached standards in 10 of the 15 allegations.
However, because of the good work he had done since he joined the force in 2001, he was given a final written warning, which will last for 18 months.
The panel said: “Members of the public have a right to expect police officers to respect them, whether to their face or behind their back, and the comments made in this case are extremely distasteful, grossly disrespectful, and absolutely unacceptable.
“They were private but if they were made in public, or in any other arena, whether social media, said in a police station or vehicle, there is no doubt dismissal would have followed.
“The panel do accept that there is unlikely to be a repetition of this behaviour by the officer and that his intent was not to cause harm.
“Based on this fine balance of arguments we concluded that the good and potential for future good, just, by the most slender of margins, outweighs the bad.
“We are therefore prepared to give PC Tideswell the opportunity to demonstrate that he can serve the public. The final written warning will stand for 18 months and is the most serious outcome short of dismissal.”
The texts which dated back to 2013, included comments to Pc Goodwin in which he referred to a domestic violence victim as a ‘nightmare woman’, called one of his inspectors a ‘penis’, described a murder victim as a ‘paedo’ and even made comments about a vulnerable historic sex abuse victim.
His partner, Pc Samantha Goodwin was fired in October last year after she admitted divulging information through text messages about the body of 13-year-old Amber Peat being found before it was made public.
It was during a search of Pc Goodwin’s home that Pc Tideswell’s phone was also seized.