Saturday 29 April 2017

Police chief who drunkenly exposed her breast to colleague keeps €128,000-a-year job

Rebekah Sutcliffe, Assistant Chief Constable, Greater Manchester Police Credit: Chris Oldham/GMP/PA Wire.
Rebekah Sutcliffe, Assistant Chief Constable, Greater Manchester Police Credit: Chris Oldham/GMP/PA Wire.

Kim Pilling

A female police chief has escaped the sack after she launched a drunken tirade at a junior colleague about the size of her breasts.

Assistant Chief Constable Rebekah Sutcliffe, of Greater Manchester Police (GMP), told Superintendent Sarah Jackson that her "credibility was zero" after she had a "boob job" and berated her as a "laughing stock" who would be judged professionally "on the size of her tits".

She then went on to pull down the front of her dress to expose her left breast and say: "Look at these, look at these, these are the breasts of someone who has had three children.

"They are ugly but I don't feel the need to pump myself full of silicone to get self-esteem."

Following a misconduct hearing late last year, a disciplinary panel ruled that she had breached standards of professional behaviour.

But GMP Deputy Chief Constable Ian Pilling ruled on Monday that she could keep her job.

The panel had stated her gross misconduct had taken her to "the very precipice of dismissal" but accepted it was out of character and recommended a final written warning would suffice.

Ms Sutcliffe, who was the most senior female GMP officer at the time, verbally attacked her younger subordinate following a gala dinner at the national Senior Women in Policing Conference last May.

The haranguing in the early hours of May 6 at Manchester's Hilton Hotel concluded when Ms Sutcliffe told her colleague she was no longer going to support a further promotion for her.

Ms Jackson, who was appointed by Ms Sutcliffe as a temporary superintendent in a secondment role, later said she was "shocked, mortified, embarrassed and ashamed" at the comments made by her superior.

She added that she had suffered "great anxiety from the night itself and since".

Ms Sutcliffe's counsel, John Beggs QC, had handed the panel more than 200 pages of testimonials with many officers speaking of Ms Sutcliffe as "inspirational", "visionary" and "a strong leader".

One unnamed female detective chief inspector at GMP said she is "a role model to many women in the organisation".

Mr Beggs said she remained a role model, with "human frailties", who would "emerge as an even impressive senior leader" if allowed to.

Announcing his decision at the force's HQ to follow the panel's recommendation, Mr Pilling said: "Despite being absolutely appalled at her behaviour and all too aware of the damage to public confidence I do not think I can take a different view without any significant reason to do so."

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