Wiltshire officer dismissed over sexual relationship with vulnerable woman

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A police officer has been dismissed after forming an inappropriate sexual relationship with a vulnerable woman he met on duty.

Pc Darren Thorn, who worked as a response officer in Swindon, was dismissed with immediate effect on Tuesday following a public gross misconduct hearing, Wiltshire Police said.

The two-day hearing found that six counts of gross misconduct were proven.

The offences were committed between June 2016 and June 2018.

Mr Thorn admitted four criminal charges connected to the relationship during a hearing at Reading Crown Court on November 29.

He pleaded guilty to one charge of corruption, two charges of computer misuse and one charge of misconduct in a public office.

Mr Thorn, who now lives in Devon, will be sentenced in February.

The officer was arrested and suspended from the force in 2018 when the allegations came to light.

Wiltshire Police carried out the investigation, supervised by the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

Deputy Chief Constable of Wiltshire Police, Paul Mills, said: “Pc Thorn significantly abused his position as a police officer by making contact with a vulnerable woman he met on duty and then going on to pursue a sexual relationship with her.

“Once in that relationship, he further betrayed the trust invested in him by the public, by illegally accessing police computer systems and obtaining personal information and data which he went on to pass to the woman.

“His actions were not only illegal, but were a consistent and sustained flagrant breach of the standards the police service and the public rightly expect of those who serve in the office of police constable.

“As soon as the force was aware of these serious allegations, Pc Thorn was immediately arrested and suspended from duty. In addition, the matters were referred to the Independent Office of Police Conduct.”

He said: “Former Police Constable Darren Thorn abused his position of trust to form a completely inappropriate sexual relationship with a victim he met when attending her home in the course of his duties.

“It would be a huge injustice to the vast majority of officers and staff at Wiltshire Police who carry out their roles with integrity to suggest that this was representative of the wider force, but it would be wholly misguided to suggest that these former officers are lone ‘bad apples’.

“Cases like this chip away at public trust and I continue to work with the Chief Constable to eradicate any trace of corruption and misconduct within Wiltshire Police to ensure that we do not end up in a place where that public trust cannot be rebuilt.

“Those who abuse their position of trust must, and will be weeded out.

“Their time in policing is up.”

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