A DRUNKEN murder squad detective convicted of terrorising a village pub on the Yorkshire coast has been sacked after being handed a suspended jail sentence.
Det Sgt Paul Whiteley had originally escaped with a fine for common assault, from Scarborough Magistrates’ Court in July. But when he tried to overturn the verdict in October he was given a suspended jail sentence for what a York crown court judge called the disgraced officer’s “aggressive and bullying behaviour”.
This week, following disciplinary proceedings, Whiteley lost his job with the West Yorkshire Homicide and Major Enquiry Team.
It is understood senior officers decided not to accept a resignation following a number of cases in which disgraced officers had resigned and then found jobs with other forces.
Det Ch Supt Clive Wain of West Yorkshire Police’s Professional Standards Department, said: “Following a recent conviction for assault, an officer was dismissed on Tuesday, 2 December, without notice, for gross misconduct.
“West Yorkshire Police expects the highest standards of professionalism from all officers and staff and will take appropriate disciplinary action against anyone who fails to meet those standards.”
Whiteley, 51, of Grange Moor, Wakefield, had been on holiday with then partner Claire Hughes, 43, of York, at a campsite near Robin Hood’s Bay.
After a morning out in Whitby, they decided to spend a rainy afternoon drinking in the Fylingdales Inn in nearby Fylingthorpe.
They stayed for seven hours and had downed the best part of three bottles of red Shiraz wine between them before they were spotted staggering towards Ms Hughes’ Vauxhall Corsa in the pub car park.
Holiday maker Carl Sarsfield, 41, an electrician from Oldham, was in the pub with girlfriend Paula Crossley, 41, and her autistic daughter Mia, 18.
Mr Sarsfield told the appeal court: “The barmaid could see them getting into a car. I was asked to go out and stop them. “I said to the lady ‘You are not thinking of driving?’. She had her keys in her hand and was at the driver’s door. “The man said he was not driving - she was. I said ‘She’s in no fit state. She can’t even walk.’”
The drunken couple went back in the bar, sat down at the next table to Mr Sarsfield’s party, and started arguing. The appeal court heard Whiteley tore his buttoned shirt off and tossed it on the bar, slurring: “Come on. I can do what I ****ing want. I’m a copper. I will rip your ****king head off.”
Mr Sarsfield jumped on top of Whiteley and both men ended up rolling around the floor fighting until they were separated by a bystander. Ms Crossley, carer to her daughter, told the hearing: “My daughter was absolutely terrified. She had never seen anything like this before. It was awful. There were other children in the pub as well.”
Whiteley had been fined £550 with a £55 surcharge at Scarborough with £850 court costs. Ms Hughes was cleared of assaulting Ms Crosses.
Dismissing the appeal, the judge remarked the fine was about “one and a half weeks’s wages” and although Mr Sarsfield had escaped injury “the harm is the fear caused to the people in the pub.”