A POLICE officer is facing a misconduct hearing over allegations that he assaulted his then girlfriend and tried to strangle her.
PC Kaljit Sander denies six misconduct allegations, including claims he assaulted the woman twice during their 18-month relationship – and says he was a victim of her violent behaviour.
A Cleveland Police misconduct hearing was told on Monday that his girlfriend had flown home six days into an all-inclusive two-week stay in Mexico last year after PC Sander allegedly punched her in the face before strangling her in a hotel room.
The Middlesbrough neighbourhood policing officer faces a second domestic abuse allegation after his girlfriend, who lives in County Durham, claimed he pushed her into a kitchen bin before kicking her in the head in October 2014.
During the hearing, held at Cleveland Police headquarters, in Middlesbrough, she told the panel PC Sander had accused her of being unfaithful with men they had met on their Mexican holiday which started an argument between the two.
She told the hearing: “He turned around and hit me in the face.
“I could feel my lip was bleeding and I was saying, ‘why are you doing this’ and he pushed me on the bed and got on top of me and started strangling me.
“I was crying and said, ‘how can you do this to me, I’ve supported you through everything’.”
Helen Hogben, defending PC Sander, put it to his former girlfriend that during the incident it had actually been her who had been violent and caused scratches to her boyfriend’s forehead.
Mrs Hogben also questioned why she had not informed Mexican authorities about the incident which went unreported to Cleveland Police until February this year.
The hearing also heard about a separate incident outside PC Sander’s home in Tudhoe Colliery, County Durham, which caused the couple to split up following an argument after a night out earlier this year.
Mrs Hogben said: “You say that during the course of that relationship, [PC Sander] assaulted you very violently twice – once in October 2014 and then again in August 2015 – and you say you were frightened of him and that he’s a bully.
“But in actual fact, you were so frightened of this man on January 10, 2016, you tried to batter his front door in to the point where he had to call the police.
“You were shouting and cursing so loudly that even PC Sander’s neighbour heard it. She had looked out briefly and because she was frightened she called the police – it was you behaving aggressively that evening.”
PC Sander’s ex-girlfriend also claimed he had confessed to lying about a previous incident.
The hearing heard how PC Sander had been found guilty of assaulting a previous partner in 2014. However, the conviction was quashed just weeks later after Newcastle Crown Court agreed there were inconsistencies in the evidence against him.
Yesterday’s disciplinary hearing heard allegations that he later confessed to lying about the incident “because he didn’t want to lose his job.”
The hearing continues on Tuesday.
PC Sander faces further allegations of using offensive language towards a Cleveland police community support officer (PCSO) and another colleague, as well making false accounts over alleged misconduct.