A police constable has been sacked over his handling of a domestic abuse incident which saw him fail to arrest those involved and then mislead a superior officer.
PC Darrian Fearn, of Derbyshire police, should have taken statements from two people involved in an incident during which a woman threatened a man with a knife after he seriously assaulted her.
Instead, despite evidence of criminal behaviour, he left the pair with words of advice and failed to mention important details when logging the outcome of the incident.
He then went on to mislead a supervising officer who queried the outcome of the incident when trying to explain why no further action had been taken against either of the people involved.
When the truth became known the 47-year-old was charged with failing to perform his duties expeditiously and diligently, and providing false and/or misleading information to a superior officer.
It was claimed by doing this he had breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour for “Honesty and Integrity” and “Duties and Responsibilities”, contrary to the Police (Conduct) Regulations 2020, something that amounted to gross misconduct.
He admitted to these charges at a three-day misconduct hearing beginning on Monday, April 12, but argued he had no intention to deliberately mislead the supervising officer when giving his recollection of what happened.
However, the panel found the allegations to be proven and that his response had been “dishonest and/or deliberately misleading“, and dismissed him from the force.
The original incident took place in May 2020 after police received reports a woman was threatening a man with a knife in Derby.
Upon arrival, the officer was told by the woman, known as H, that her partner had seriously assaulted her by kicking, hitting and holding her to the ground by the throat.
Meanwhile the man, referred to as R, admitted he had grabbed her her but claimed she had then threatened him with a knife and refused to let it go.
Caroline Sellars, a solicitor for Derbyshire police, told the hearing PC Fearn accepts his actions “amount to gross misconduct”, which is something that can lead to his instant dismissal from the force.
She said in the domestic incident, which took place on May 20, last year, both the people involved had given admissions to the constable at the scene.
“H said as officers arrived ‘he’s the one hitting me and I’ve had enough. He hit me first, he held me to the ground’,” Mrs Sellars said.
She said H claimed R had held her by the throat and kicked her, and that she had taken the knife to defend herself.
Mrs Sellars said: “PC Fearn then spoke to R, who said ‘I grabbed her, I must admit. It’s not right I know, but she got a knife out the cupboard and threatened me with it’.”
“Pc Fearn has failed to take a witness statement from either party, to arrest either party or to record either of the allegations they had made,” Mrs Sellars said.
“Both parties were advised, H has remained at the address overnight, R has gone to stay with a friend.”
Two-and-a-half hours after this he was queried by a supervising officer why his report made no reference to a knife when the initial phone call had said there was one involved.
He then misled the officer by telling them no offences had been revealed during the incident.
“He [the supervising officer] went on to ask questions about the alleged use of the knife,” Mrs Sellars said.
She added he said the woman had grabbed the knife instinctively, not made any threats and had dropped it, something that neither person involved had claimed.
Giving evidence in his defence, PC Fearn said he did not know how he had misremembered the events from less than three hours before when speaking to his supervisor.
“At the time I believed that was right, but on reflection what I was trying to say was there were no complaints from either party as opposed to no offences,” he said.
“It would not benefit me in any way, shape or form to lie.”
The constable, who choked back the tears at times during the hearing, said he had been low on confidence at the time after struggling to bed in after being moved to Derby from his previous beat in Ashbourne several years before.
He added he had spoken to superior officers about how he felt he needed help improving his skills and had always been open with them when speaking about work and personal matters.
He said: “I’ve got no reason on this Earth to be dishonest to anybody.” [editor: bullshit]
He added it had been his dream to become a police officer and he had joined after spending time as a special constable, during which time he was named Special Constable of the Year.
He said the day he was accepted into the force was “the proudest day of my life”.
“When you start in any job you want to impress people,” he said.
“I wanted to do that. I was doing what I thought was right at the time. I’ve done my best.”
A spokesperson for Derbyshire police said: “During the hearing, PC Fearn answered allegations that he breached the standards of professional behaviour in duties and responsibilities and honesty and integrity.