A 'PREDATORY' Cumbria police officer has been sacked after he sent sexual messages to a 'extremely vulnerable' woman.

PC Christopher Foster was brought before a misconduct hearing after he was accused of three charges, including sending the messages to a woman identified only as Ms A.

The hearing was told the officer first met the woman in a Cumbria nightclub in 2015 or 2016 and later exchanged 'flirty' messages.

The panel heard PC Foster claimed he later saw the woman in May 2021 and noticed she was pregnant.

He said he wrote an intelligence log about her on the police system out of concern for her unborn child, despite what the panel described as 'no legitimate reason' to do so.

The officer later sent messages to the woman, but denied they were inappropriate or suggesting he was seeking a relationship or sexual contact.

However the panel said a number of the messages 'could only be viewed as sexual in nature, and that the general tone of all the messages was one of the officer wanting to engage in sexual contact with Ms A'.

The panel found that it 'reasonably followed that the officer created the intelligence log to cover up the fact that he had accessed the force system in order to look at the information held about Ms A'.

According to hearing documents, members of the panel said they found it 'literally incredible' the officer would not have known she was vulnerable having accessed her profile on the police system, which included domestic violence markers and information that suggested she had been the victim of crime eight times. 

He was also accused of recording police data on his personal phone and failing to reveal information to the Crown Prosecution Service and accepted these charges.

The panel ruled that the officer should be dismissed without notice.

Decision documents said: "The panel found that PC Foster's actions were driven by a sexual attraction towards Ms A which affected his judgement.

"The panel had found Ms A vulnerable and also found that PC Foster would reasonably have perceived her to be when he went on to the police held intelligence system Red Sigma and viewed the information held on her.

"The fact that PC Foster did not modify his conduct but instead chose to send inappropriate sexualised messages to Ms A, the panel can only find this conduct involves a fundamental breach of the public's trust in officers and inevitably brings the profession into disrepute.

"The panel found the behaviour of PC Foster towards Ms A to be predatory in nature.

"They found he knew she was vulnerable and pursued her despite her clear rebuttal of his advances.

"In fact the panel found she would have been marked out as extremely vulnerable, particularly because she is recorded as a victim of crime on more than one occasion.

"As a result, this makes PC Foster's behaviour in sending clearly sexualised messages to a vulnerable person extremely serious."