A serving police officer accused of pursuing a “sexual or improper emotional relationship” with a woman he met while investigating a burglary has appeared in court.
Kent Police Pc Matthew Peall, who is based in Canterbury, is charged with misconduct in a public office between October 9 2019 and December 17 2019.
The 45-year-old allegedly sent a series of messages to a woman, referred to only as “LS” in the court charge sheet, after meeting her in the course of a burglary investigation.
Peall appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London on Thursday, where he spoke to confirm his name, date of birth and address in Dover, Kent.
He was not asked to enter a plea to the charge, which states that, while acting as a police officer, he “wilfully misconducted himself by contacting ‘LS’ on occasions when there was no policing purpose for him to do so and seeking by such contact to pursue a sexual or improper emotional relationship”.
He was charged following an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
A spokesman for the watchdog said after he was charged that Peall allegedly “abused his position for a sexual purpose”.
“Between October and December 2019, the officer is alleged to have pursued an inappropriate relationship with a witness during the course of an investigation in Canterbury,” he said.
“We began our investigation in February 2020 after we received a mandatory conduct referral from the force.
“In February 2021, we completed our investigation and sent our final report and a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service, which authorised the charge.”