Sacked Shrewsbury Pc sent provocative messages to colleagues after training presentation

The police constable fired for gross misconduct was based in Shrewsbury and sent provocative messages to three female colleagues after giving them a training presentation, it can now be revealed.

An allegation James Watkins had exposed himself to a colleague and tried to push her head into his lap was also upheld
An allegation James Watkins had exposed himself to a colleague and tried to push her head into his lap was also upheld

The most serious allegation James Walters faced was that he exposed himself to “PC A” and tried to push her head into his lap while giving her a lift from West Mercia Police headquarters to Shrewsbury.

The married PC Also stood accused of inappropriately touching and trying to kiss two other female colleagues and sending inappropriate Facebook messages to all three plus a fourth.

Following the two-week hearing, 10 allegations against Walters were upheld. Reporting restrictions prohibited identifying Walters or revealing biographical and geographical details while it was ongoing, but a decision notice published after the panel’s decision has named him.

He will be added to the College of Policing’s barred list, making him ineligible for work at any British force. West Mercia Professional Standards Department head Superintendent Rebecca Love said his “behaviour and actions while on duty breached the standards of behaviour that are essential in serving our communities”.

During the hearing, prosecutor Edward Pleeth said Walters drove “PC A” to the force’s Hindlip Hall headquarters, near Worcester, in a former squad car which had been repurposed as a pool car on his way to attend firearms training at a West Midlands Police site. He picked her up at the end of the day.

Shielded from Walters by a screen, "PC A" told the panel that, during the return journey, he parked the car and “started to try to kiss me”. She protested so he backed off and continued driving, she added, but at a later stop he “exposed himself and grabbed the back of my head and tried to put it down to where he had undone his trousers”.

He stopped when she threatened to call a colleague, and the journey continued, she said.

PC A told the hearing she didn’t report the incident initially but came forward later, when allegations surfaced that Walters had sent inappropriate messages to other three other female officers.

Mr Pleeth said this took place shortly after Mr Walters gave a presentation to them, along with others.

“A common thread is that many of the messages are not overtly sexual,” he said.

“Some are, but many are what might be colloquially described as ‘hooks’; invitations to respond and turn the conversation more sexual.”

Defence barrister Ian Bridge told the hearing Walters accepted misconduct, and accepted the messages were inappropriate when confronted about them by a superior, but denied the sexual assaults and denied gross misconduct.

Giving evidence to the panel, Walters said “PC A” had been “chatty” during the car ride and they usually flirted “harmlessly” with each other. He claimed that “it was clear she wanted to kiss me”, so pulled over twice during the trip.

The first time they kissed and the second time “PC A” groped his groin, Walters said.

“I saw it had gone too far,” he said, denying that he had touched her and saying he had kept his hands by his side.

Other allegations stated that Walters pushed a female colleague against a police station locker and touched the bottom of another during a Christmas night out. These were also upheld.

The hearing decision is subject to appeal.

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