January 20, 2022 11.10 am This story is over 29 months old

Humberside Police officer told junior PC he was “going to rape her”

He was barred for five years after misconduct hearing

A police officer based in Grimsby said he was ‘going to rape’ a junior PC at Humberside Police, in one of two sex attacks on female colleagues, a misconduct hearing has heard.

Christopher Lings, who was responsible for mentoring junior officers, was alleged to have pushed each woman onto a bed on separate occasions, telling one he was going to rape her.

The allegations were reported to Humberside Police on March 31, 2020 and PC Lings was immediately suspended. An internal investigation led by the force’s Professional Standards department was carried out and Lings’ actions were found to have amounted to a breach of the Standards of Professional Behaviour contrary to Police Conduct Regulations, in respect of Discreditable Conduct and Equality and Diversity.

A misconduct panel heard the 35-year-old, who served for 16 years until his resignation in March 2021, behaved in a “sexualised way” to two female junior officers he was supposed to be mentoring, according to the BBC. Lings did not attend this week’s misconduct hearing in Goole.

The hearing was told how Lings became drunk at a party on March 16, 2020 when he allegedly touched and kissed one of the women after pushing her onto a bed and lying on top of her. Olivia Checa-Dover, the force’s legal representative, said he also tried to move his hand up her leg towards her crotch.

The panel chairman Callum Cox said the woman’s housemate heard Lings whisper to the woman that he was “going to rape her” that night. He reportedly repeatedly asked her whether she was a virgin, leaving her visibly shaking and upset. He is also said to have sent her a message containing explicit sexual language in the previous month, the hearing heard.

The incident came three months after Lings allegedly pushed another woman onto a hotel bed in Lincoln and lay on top of her after a Christmas party on December 19, 2019. He was previously given a final written warning in May 2015 after he was said to have behaved “inappropriately” towards three females while he was drunk.

The panel said he would have been sacked had he not resigned, but it is not known whether the alleged assault was the reason for him leaving the force.

His behaviour against both junior officers amounted to serious gross misconduct and a breach of professional standards. Lings was barred from serving for five years.

Humberside Police said it pursued criminal charges against Lings, but the Crown Prosecution Service did not prosecute him, according to the BBC.

Detective Superintendent Matt Baldwin, Head of Professional Standards at Humberside Police, said: “Sexual harassment or abusive behaviour towards anyone has no place within policing, or the personal lives of our officers, and a single report of this nature against one of our officers is one too many.

“The overwhelming majority of our officers carry out their job with integrity and respect, and this follows them through into their personal lives. I’m also confident that our officers and staff would stand against anyone within the organisation who is believed to be abusing another person, in any form, and actively report this to us.

“I would echo the recent comments of our Chief Constable that tackling violence against women and girls is the number one force priority.

“We will not hesitate to take action against anyone within the organisation who threatens our commitment to tackling this grave issue, or is actively contributing to it, inside or outside of work.

“It’s vitally important to us that those serving our communities uphold the high standards of behaviour we expect from them at all times, and we would like to reassure people that anyone falling short of that standard can expected to be robustly dealt with.”