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Married chief inspector, 44, quits force after being accused of on-duty sex session

A married police chief who has quit the force after being accused of having sex with a junior female officer while on duty exchanged a series of ‘graphic’ emails and texts during the affair, a hearing was told.

Chief Inspector Rob Leet, 44, allegedly had an 18-month fling with Sergeant Sarah Porter, 38, in which they were accused of pulling up in lay-bys and other remote locations while on duty to have sex.

A disciplinary hearing was told the pair also exchanged emails using hidden text and sent explicit messages to one another.

The married father-of-four was also accused of having sex with another woman known as Miss A.

The woman, a victim of domestic abuse, claimed he had sex with her both on and off duty over a period of 14 months and that she felt ‘groomed’ by him.

Chief Inspector Leet (pictured), who had a 22-year career with Sussex Police, was charged with gross misconduct

Chief Inspector Leet, who had a 22-year career with Sussex Police, was subsequently charged with gross misconduct. 

He denied the allegations against him and was set to face a disciplinary hearing where he could have been sacked.

However he quit the force last month and did not attend the hearing at Lewes in East Sussex today.

The hearing continued in his absence with both officers denying allegations of gross misconduct.

The two officers are said to have had made arrangements to meet up and then had sex while on duty.

On one occasion Sergeant Porter, a traffic officer, is alleged to have been uncontactable when she should have been available to attend a fatal car crash.

The pair are accused of conducting the secret relationship between August 2015 and January 2017. 

Opening the case, Amy Clarke for Sussex Police, said that although the two officers did not work in the same department they were able manufacture opportunities to meet on numerous occasions over the 18-month period.

‘It is my submission that whilst on duty Mr Leet and Sgt Porter conducted a relationship of a sexual nature.There was far more than a platonic relationship going on at that time,’ she said.

Miss Clarke added that the pair had exchanged more than 700 texts as well as emails and other messages, with some explicit and intimate in nature, containing ‘graphic’ sexual content.

He allegedly had an 18-month fling with Sergeant Sarah Porter (pictured), 38, in which they were accused of pulling up in lay-bys and other remote locations while on duty to have sex

He allegedly had an 18-month fling with Sergeant Sarah Porter (pictured), 38, in which they were accused of pulling up in lay-bys and other remote locations while on duty to have sex

She said the pair exchanged emails which used hidden text within the communication to avoid detection. In other messages they used acronyms to avoid using explicit sexual language.

Miss Clarke said these intimate messages are a clear indication the relationship was anything but platonic.

She said both officers urged each other to be cautious about meeting up and also to delete emails and messages.

She said: ‘They were seeking to hide their contact and be particularly discreet about it. They talked about deleting emails and there is frequent reference for the desire for there not to be other people around when they were meeting up.

Miss Clarke said: ‘This is not about a moral judgement or whether it is right or wrong for how two adults want to conduct a sexual relationship, it is about the fact they were on duty.

‘Instead of serving their community they weren’t, they were putting their sexual relationship first. We say the conduct of both individuals fell far below the standards expected of police officers.’

The disciplinary panel heard the pair had kissed each other during their meetings but denied their relationship was sexual.

Stephen Chippeck, for Sergeant Porter, said: ‘They admitted kissing. This is not a kissing case. Kissing, it is my submission, is not a sexual act.’

Mr Chippeck said Sergeant Porter had been through a ‘difficult and miserable’ few years and the relationship with Chief Inspector Leet was a ‘fantasy, an unreality.’

However Miss Clarke rebutted: ‘Kissing formed part of their relationship but there was more.’

The hearing was told Chief Inspector Leet also conducted a sexual relationship with Miss A between November 2014 – January 2016.

Miss Clarke said Miss A felt she had been ‘groomed’ by the chief inspector.

She added: ‘It should have been abundantly clear to Mr Leet there was a vulnerability that should not have been taken advantage of.’

Sergeant Porter could face the sack if the allegations against her are proven.

The hearing continues.

The case is the latest in a catalogue of sex scandals which have hit the force in the past few years.

PC Daniel Moss was suspended from duty in December 2016 after he was caught advertising himself online as a male prostitute, offering to perform sex acts for cash. He had been on sick leave since that September for stress.

In March sexual offences liaison officer Martin Harris was drummed out of the force and jailed for two years for misconduct in public office, downloading and making indecent images of children.

PC Mark Scruby was sacked in 2017 after telling his sergeant she resembled a porn star.

And 2015 Inspector Lee Lyons was fired after admitting he contacted prostitutes while on duty.

Last October Inspector Tony Lumb was told there would be no criminal charges brought against him over allegations he had improper sexual relations with women in the course of his duties. He could still face disciplinary action.


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