Kent Police officer jailed for sexualised text messages
A Kent police constable has today been jailed for misconduct in public office for forming an inappropriate sexual relationship with a woman he met while on duty.
It follows our investigation into Police Constable (PC) Thomas Hill, who met the woman as part of his duties.
She had been arrested for an offence and, in December 2020, he was asked to supervise her while she was being treated at the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate.
The officer initiated a sexualised conversation with the woman while in hospital and later contacted her via social media and they exchanged more sexualised text messages. The officer then went to her house where he acted in an unprofessional manner towards the woman.
PC Hill later confessed the relationship to his supervisors after the woman threatened to disclose it to his employer.
We began an investigation in May 2021 following a mandatory conduct referral from Kent Police earlier that month.
We looked at the circumstances surrounding PC Hill’s initial and continued contact with the woman and whether his contact with her was in accordance with relevant legislation, local and national policies and procedures.
Our investigation concluded in April 2022 and we sent a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) which authorised the charge of misconduct in public office.
PC Hill, 35, based at Canterbury, admitted the offence at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 20 July and was sentenced on 4 October at Southwark Crown Court to six months’ in prison.
IOPC regional director Mel Palmer said: “Abuse of power for a sexual purpose is a breach of the public’s trust, which seriously undermines confidence in the police service and discredits the profession. PC Hill’s behaviour was a form of serious corruption and has absolutely no place in policing.
“To make matters worse, PC Hill initiated the relationship while she was being treated in hospital and he had been sent to supervise her. At a time he was supposed to be protecting her, he instead chose to exploit her vulnerability.
“As a result of our investigation, carried out independently of the police, PC Hill admitted the offence and has now been sentenced. We also found PC Hill has a case to answer for gross misconduct and he will be subject to a disciplinary hearing.”
During our investigation, investigators interviewed PC Hill, examined his mobile phone and obtained statements or accounts from several witnesses, including the woman involved.