Yorkshire police officer diagnosed with depression following London terror attacks and Grenfell Tower tragedy is sacked for drink driving

PC Luke Stenberg, 34, worked for Metropolitan Police before transferring to West Yorkshire Police in late 2017. A generic shot of police.
PC Luke Stenberg, 34, worked for Metropolitan Police before transferring to West Yorkshire Police in late 2017. A generic shot of police.
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A Yorkshire police officer who was first on the scene at the London terror attacks and at the Grenfell Tower tragedy has been sacked for drink driving.

PC Luke Stenberg, 34, worked for Metropolitan Police and had been one of the first officers called to the Westminster Bridge terror attack on March 22, 2017, the London Bridge attack on June 3, 2017, the Grenfell Tower tragedy 11 days later and the Parsons Green train bombing on September 15, 2017.

He had been tasked with searching suspicious vehicles in the terror attacks and even entered Grenfell Tower to pull people from the inferno, risking his own safety.

Following a successful career with the Metropolitan Police force, PC Stenberg joined West Yorkshire Police in 2017.

He had ambitions of becoming an armed response officer, however the tragedies he witnessed had a lasting affect on his mental health and saw him suffering from depression, anxiety and night tremors.

PC Stenberg was off duty on the evening of March 11, this year, and had been at a snooker match when he was caught by police driving twice over the legal drink drive limit in Beck Road, Sowerby Bridge, following an anonymous 999 call to police.

He pleaded guilty to driving over the prescribed limit when he appeared at Leeds Magistrates Court on March 28 and was disqualified from driving for two years and ordered to pay £525 in fines.

The Yorkshire Police officers sacked in 2019

A misconduct hearing took place at West Yorkshire Police Wakefield District Headquarters on Wednesday where it was proven PC Stenberg's actions amounted to gross misconduct.

In mitigation for PC Stenberg, Julian King described how he had struggled with the scenes he had witnessed in the London terror attacks and the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Mr King said: "These are four significant events all of which this officer has had to deal with.

"It was after this he transferred to West Yorkshire Police and moved away with his family, but the transfer only really delayed the inevitable crisis.

"He was well-liked in West Yorkshire Police and he had an over-riding desire to beat this and continue doing the job he loved."

Mr King explained the police officer did not want to disclose his mental health problems as he feared it would stop his dream of becoming an armed response officer.

The misconduct panel heard he had since sought help from medical professionals for his depression.

His wife Gemma said: "He has made significant progress since the incident and he has been committed to getting better.

"He is incredibly sorry for what he went through, but actions speak louder than words and he has shown this.

"I have seen such a huge improvement in his mental health."

Chair of the hearing, Temporary Chief Constable John Robins said he had considered the detailed mitigation given by Mr King and also gave PC Stenberg credit for his "full and frank" acceptance of gross misconduct for drink driving.

He said: "Whilst I have sympathy and understanding for your medical condition, you did not seek medical treatment for 18 months.

"Your case has been considered very carefully due to your individual circumstances, but the mitigation is just not sufficient to lessen sanction."

Mr Robins said PC Stenberg's actions would cause great concern to the public and affect the reputation of the force.

PC Stenberg was dismissed from the force without notice.

His name has been added to the police barred list.