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Final warning for police officer over contact with vulnerable woman

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image captionThe misconduct hearing took place at Avon and Somerset Police HQ in Portishead

A police officer has been cleared of seeking a sexual relationship with a vulnerable woman.

PC Jonny Wall, of Avon and Somerset Police, was instead handed a final written warning over his conduct while trying to help the "heartbroken" woman.

Chair of a misconduct panel Anna Vigars said: "We're completely satisfied there was never any intention to seek to build a sexual relationship."

She said the warning was to restore public confidence in the force.

During the hearing at police HQ in Portishead, Ms Vigars said the officer, who was based in Emersons Green, "wrongly saw himself as someone who could solve her problems".

"He is someone of huge empathy and compassion. He is able to defuse situations with warmth and humanity.

"We have no doubt that's what he intended to do."

'Impart wisdom'

Panel members heard the officer met Miss A and began lengthy conversations by text and Instagram, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Instead of helping her, he ended up as a go-between her and her former partner, Mr B who had accused her of harassment.

Ms Vigars said the officer should have known his messages were inappropriate and risked discrediting the police force.

His actions also embedded Miss A's sense of being a victim, the panel chair said.

Explaining himself, PC Wall said: "This chap [Mr B] had promised her the world. They'd had a fantastic 10 days and he just ended it without reason. I could relate to it. I felt sorry for her.

"I thought if I could impart some wisdom it could only be a good thing.

"I joined the police service to help people."

Defending, Ramin Parkooh, said: "There's no lack of integrity - just bad judgment with good intentions."

Claims that PC Wall's failure to report concerns for her welfare for several days were a "serious dereliction of duty" were dismissed by the panel.

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