Serving officer dismissed following harassment conviction
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A serving Cheshire officer who was convicted of harassing his former partner has now been found guilty of gross misconduct.
Stuart Berry joined Cheshire Constabulary in 2003 and was working as a sergeant in Warrington Local Policing Unit.
He separated from his partner in 2019 and despite her repeated pleas to stop contacting her following their spilt, Berry continued contact her through social media and email.
As a result, Berry was reported to police for harassment.
The allegations were investigated and a case file was presented to the CPS in January 2020 who determined that there was no case to answer. However, Berry was warned not to make any further contact.
Despite the warning, Berry went onto contact her again between 2 April 2020 and 23 April 2020.
He was subsequently arrested and charged with harassment.
Berry was convicted of the offence at Preston Magistrates’ Court on Friday 19 March 2021.
The 41-year-old returned to the court to be sentenced on Monday 19 April.
He was handed a Community Order for 18 months, ordered to serve a 12 week curfew from 8pm until 6am and told to pay £90 victims surcharge and £450 court costs.
On Thursday 22 April Berry appeared at a misconduct hearing at Cheshire Constabulary’s headquarters in Winsford, where he was found guilty of gross misconduct.
Berry was dismissed without notice and has also been added to the College of Policing Barred List, meaning that he will prevented from working in law enforcement should he apply to do so in the future.
Detective Superintendent Chris Warren, head of the Professional Standards Department at Cheshire Constabulary, said: “As a serving officer, Stuart Berry held a position of trust and swore an oath in which he promised to abide by the law and the clear guidelines about the standards expected from him.
“Despite the fact that he was well aware of these standards, sadly he chose to ignore them.
“I hope that the outcome of the hearing reassures the public by demonstrating that police officers are not above the law.”
Deputy Chief Constable Julie Cooke added: “It is essential that the people of Cheshire have both confidence and trust in the service we deliver.
“We actively promote the highest standards of personal and professional behaviour and integrity to all officers and staff.
“Unfortunately, in this case Stuart Berry’s behaviour fell well below the level expected of a serving officer and he grossly undermined the privileged position that his role as a member of Cheshire Constabulary demands and expects.”
Anyone who wishes to make a complaint, or a compliment, about the service that they have received from Cheshire Constabulary can contact the Professional Standards Department by calling 101 or emailing [email protected] .