Essex officer found guilty of having inappropriate sexual relationship with witness

An Essex Police officer has been found guilty of misconduct in public office after he pursued an inappropriate sexual relationship with a woman who was a key witness in a case that he was investigating.

Police Constable Georgie Bean, aged 31, had denied the offence but was found guilty by a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court on Thursday February 29 following an Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation.

He received a community order to carry out 50 hours of unpaid work and was ordered to pay £1200 in costs.

The investigation established that PC Bean, who is based in Basildon, was the officer in charge of an investigation into a racially aggravated assault case. He came into contact with the woman in October 2020 as she was a key witness.

On November 20 2020 he visited her at home to take a witness statement and returned later that same day when they engaged in sexual activity.

After the encounter, PC Bean distanced himself from the woman and admitted to what had happened to his supervisor. His behaviour was referred to the force’s Professional Standards Department, which made a conduct referral to the IOPC in December 2020.

The IOPC looked at the nature and extent of contact between PC Bean and the woman from September21 2020 to December 2 2020 and his actions prior to and following contact with her. On completion of the investigation in December 2021 a file was snt to the Crown Prosecution Service, which authorised the charge against him.

IOPC regional director Charmaine Arbouin said: “PC Bean was found to have formed an inappropriate relationship with a woman, who was the sole independent witness to an assault that he was in charge of investigating.

“He clearly failed to maintain appropriate and professional boundaries between himself and the woman and his actions amounted to a criminal offence. He has now been held accountable for his behaviour.”

Following the conclusion of criminal proceedings, it will now be for the force to arrange a disciplinary hearing.