Former Humberside Police detective accused of gross misconduct
A former Humberside Police detective has been accused of gross misconduct when handling cases that involved vulnerable people.
DC Phillip Payton has been accused of gross misconduct when handling six cases from 2015 to 2017.
The allegations relate to Mr Payton’s handling of five child sexual abuse cases and a theft case involving a vulnerable person.
The former detective faces allegations that he caused unnecessary delays after failing to carry out ‘basic’ protocols whilst putting cases in jeopardy as a result of him not storing evidence correctly.
Payton has since resigned from the force and decided not to attend the misconduct hearing.
According to reports, Mr Payton authorised the return of electronic devices during the investigation of a man accused of child sexual offences.
The devices were returned despite a thorough analysis to uncover what was on them not commencing, a notion that could have jeopardised the suspects’ prosecution, the hearing was told.
Mr Payton was accused of failing to submit complete files to the Crown Prosecution Service after Christine Beeston admitted stealing thousands from her vulnerable parents in a separate case.
Despite Payton’s digital skills, he failed to break down the files and send them individually, instead submitting sparse files which were not enough to prosecute the suspect.
Beeston was only convicted after a colleague took over the case, almost two years after the investigation began.
The panel was told Payton spent 17 months on a case pertaining to sexual assault allegations in 2015, where he failed to conduct an interview with the suspect and did not safeguard the minor involved.
Phillip Payton also spent 18 months on a child sexual abuse case before he had to be replaced due to the lack of progression.
Subsequently, Payton was found to have failed to progress the line of inquiry after he did not send the relevant files in a timely manner.
Payton worked on another sexual abuse case involving a minor from early 2015 which lasted for two years.
During this case, the misconduct panel heard he failed to manage evidence correctly whilst not engaging with complaints, failing to properly transcribe one complaint he had received.
The final case involved another child sexual abuser, who in 2015, was reported by the victim’s father.
The hearing was told that Payton failed to deliver updates to the father throughout the case and instead, only communicated with the victim’s mother.
Payton argued that the mistakes he made were a result of a sleep disorder in addition to a lack of specialist training, he said in a written statement.
The panel heard the gross misconduct in the cases were fundamentals that all officers would know, not a result of minimal specialist training.
Before the hearing concluded, it was said that the incidents should never have happened, and Mr Payton’s actions could cause damage to the public’s confidence in the force.