A MURDER squad detective’s career was in ruins last night after he was convicted of a drunken and “unprovoked” attack in a pub while shouting: “I’m a copper. I will do what I like.”
Det Sgt Paul Whiteley, 51, was found guilty after four hours of deliberations by Scarborough Magistrates and a two-day trial. Whiteley, of Grange Moor, Wakefield, and then partner Claire Hughes, of Fulford Place, Hospital Fields Road, York, both denied assault by beating.
Whiteley showed no emotion as he was convicted - and his co-accused Miss Hughes, 43, was cleared. He was fined £550 with £850 court costs with a £55 surcharge after the court sat until nearly 8pm last night to resolve the case.
The policeman has been a serving officer for more than 22 years, seven of them with the West Yorkshire Police Homicide and Major Enquiry Team.
Mark Kelly. mitigating, said: “Clearly, this has enormous implications. He is going to lose his job as a result of this. He will be dismissed summarily I would imagine.
“This is catastrophic for him in terms of reputation built up over many years, his employment, and future prospects.”
It was alleged during the trial that Whiteley and Miss Hughes had shared two and half bottles of red wine before they headed for the car park of the Fylingdales Inn, Fylingthorpe, near Whitby, one evening in May last year.
Holidaymaker Carl Sarsfield, 41, challenged the couple, thinking they were going to drive after they had been drinking.
Back in the pub, Whiteley tore off his shirt and assaulted Mr Sarsfield while Miss Hughes was accused of attacking Mr Sarsfield’s girlfriend Paula Crossley, 41.
Whiteley also hurled abuse at the Miss Crossley’s 19-year-old autistic daughter Mia, the trial was told.
But presiding magistrate Delia Liddle said Miss Crossley had “greatly exaggerated events,” adding: “The story of the assault on her is simply not plausible.” But in Whiteley’s case the offence was proved. She added: “The family of the complainant and a disabled child were present and you were in drink.” Leaving court, Whiteley said he would appeal against conviction.