Image source, Getty Images

Image caption,

PC Wallwork admitted taking the photograph on his personal mobile phone

A police officer who photographed a dead woman’s partially-naked body has been sacked after being found guilty of gross misconduct.

PC Daniel Wallwork, from Avon and Somerset Police, took the picture at an address in Somerset and sent it to a WhatsApp group.

On Wednesday the force held a special hearing where Chief Constable Sarah Crew found him guilty.

His conduct “would have undermined confidence in police”, she said.

PC Wallwork admitted taking the photo of the woman on his personal mobile after being called out to her address, and accepted he was guilty of misconduct, but denied gross misconduct.

Mark Loker, of the Police Federation – the body representing police officers in England and Wales, told the hearing on behalf of Wallwork: “There was no merriment to this image – it was to notify his colleague who had attended the address on previous occasions”.

He said the image was not taken to “make fun or mock” the dead woman.

But the chief constable said his actions “showed a lack of dignity and respect to the victim when she was at her most vulnerable”.

She added: “It caused distress and upset to those who loved her.”

‘No policing purpose’

The officer, from Radstock, Somerset, was dismissed without notice after the hearing.

Making a finding of gross misconduct, Ms Crew said: “I am satisfied there was a conscious and deliberate act on the part of PC Wallwork in taking and sending the photo of the deceased.

“The primary duty of PC Wallwork that day was to investigate the circumstances of death and report to the coroner.

“PC Wallwork took out his personal mobile phone, he took a photo and sent it to a colleague on WhatsApp; he had no policing purpose for doing so.”

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