“I’m a copper, I’ll do what I like” is a variation on the West Yorkshire Police force mantra of “We do what we want” made famous in author David Peace’s Red Riding books and film trilogy.
Detective Sergeant Paul Whiteley, another Homicide and Major Enquiry Team detective to bring disgrace on the Force, used those words before drunkenly assaulting another customer at Fylingdales Inn at Fylingthorpe, near Whitby on the North Yorkshire coast while shirtless and completely ‘legless’.
The disgraced ‘elite’ detective also told the mother of an autistic child to ‘f*** your f***ing disabled child’ during the shameful outburst. Whiteley then ripped off his shirt before shouting: ‘Come on outside you bald-head b*****d’.
At the time of the offence, in May 2013, Whiteley was staying at a nearby campsite and had been drinking for seven hours with his girlfriend, Claire Hughes, who lives in Fulford Place, Hospital Fields Road, York,
Carl Sarsfield, an electrician and fellow holidaymaker, had been asked to have a word with the already drunk couple when a barmaid spotted them heading for their car, still carrying open bottles of wine. He said: ‘I went out there and asked him politely “You are not drinking and driving are you?”. Whiteley, who was getting in the passenger side, replied; ‘I’m not driving – she is.’ Mr Sarsfield the observed: ‘She’s legless as well.’
Whiteley and Ms Hughes then went back into the pub to wait for a taxi, but things became ‘heated’ during the waiting period. He slapped the electrician in the face, prompting Mr Sarsfield to defend himself, leaving the police officer flat on his back. He said: ‘He was absolutely legless. He could hardly stand up. He was falling all over the place. I could have burped on him and he would have fallen over.’
North Yorkshire Police were then called and Whiteley told the people in the pub: ‘Let them come. I’m a police officer. I will sort it out.’ Whiteley was arrested and bundled into a police van after the incident which happened at around 9.30pm.
Mia, the autistic daughter of Mr Sarsfield’s partner, Paula Crossley, was also abused verbally by Whiteley during the incident. Her mother said: ‘My daughter was absolutely beside herself. It affected her for weeks afterwards.’
Fining Whiteley £550 and ordering £855 in court costs against him, Scarborough Presiding Magistrate, Delia Liddle, said: ‘The level of fine is more serious, having been committed on licensed premises and the fact you were in drink.’
CPS lawyer, Martin Hawes described the attack on Mr Sarsfield as ‘unprovoked’ and refuted the proposition that Whiteley was acting in self-defence. Whiteley was found guilty of assault by beating after four hours of deliberations by the magistrates. He denied the charges throughout and, speaking after the case, Whiteley’s barrister confirmed his client intends to appeal.
Whiteley had been suspended from the Force for the fourteen months that the case has been waiting to come to trial.
Detective Chief Superintendent Clive Wain (himself a Rogue Chief who features on this website at this link), of West Yorkshire Police’s infamous Professional Standards Department, said: ‘We are aware of the decision of the court in relation to this officer. West Yorkshire Police expects the very highest standards of its officers and staff, both on and off duty.
‘The officer remains suspended from duty and an internal misconduct investigation will now commence.’
Whiteley, who lives in Grange Moor (a small village between Wakefield and Huddersfield) has been a serving officer for more than 22 years, seven of them with HMET. Mark Kelly, mitigating, said: “Clearly, this has enormous implications. He is going to lose his job as a result of this. He will be dismissed summarily, I would imagine”.
Any other outcome, uPSD submits, would be unthinkable.
More to follow ……