“His predatory behaviour has had a damaging impact on public confidence in policing which is totally unacceptable”
A serving Hertfordshire police officer has been sentenced to 15 months after abusing a vulnerable victim in the ‘most appalling way’.
The charge relates to an inappropriate relationship PC Nicholas Musto had with a vulnerable victim of crime he came in contact with via his operational police work.
The matter was investigated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) following a voluntary referral from Hertfordshire Constabulary in October 2018.
During the investigation, it emerged that PC Musto, who has 25 years’ service with the force, had lied about the nature of his relationship with the victim when concerns were previously investigated in 2013.
Assistant Chief Constable Bill Jephson said:
“This has been a distressing matter in which a vulnerable victim of crime has been abused in the most appalling manner by someone in a position of trust.
“As a force, we expect the highest standards of conduct and will always take action when those standards are not met.
“In this case PC Musto not only betrayed the trust of his victim, his predatory behaviour has had a damaging impact on public confidence in policing which is totally unacceptable.”
The BBC reported Judge Enright told him:
“You should not have used your duty time to visit her for sex when you should have been doing other things.”
Now that the matter has been dealt with at court, PC Musto will face a special case hearing.
IOPC regional director, Sarah Green, previously said: “Under compelling evidence against him PC Musto changed his plea to guilty, admitting the offence of misconduct in public office.
“By admitting his guilt, PC Musto acknowledged he wilfully abused his position as a police officer to form a relationship with a vulnerable woman he met through the course of his duties.
“Any officer who abuses their position of trust and power by engaging in sexual relationships can have no place in policing.
“We are working hard to ensure police forces refer all allegations of abuse of position to us, and we will continue to provide guidance and knowledge to help identify this abuse of trust as early as possible.
“Following our nine-month investigation, which concluded in June 2019, we passed a copy of our investigative report and findings to Hertfordshire Constabulary.
“The force agreed with our findings that PC Musto has a case to answer for gross misconduct. Hertfordshire Constabulary will arrange for a disciplinary hearing to take place.”
PC Musto was initially sentenced to 18 months yesterday, (July 17, 2020) but this was reduced to 15 months due to his early guilty plea.