A Suffolk police officer has been dismissed from the force after having sex with a colleague while she was intoxicated.

Harry Butler, constable at Suffolk police, was found to have breached three standards of professional behaviour after sleeping with a young woman who was vulnerable due to being drunk.

The panel at the misconduct hearing described how he had been “laddish and boastful” to his male colleagues after the events "as if it were a badge of honour, which reflects poorly on him".         

PC Butler and the female colleague were fellow student officers in the same training cohort living in a student accommodation block at Police Headquarters in Martlesham, but were not friends.

They were around six weeks into their police training when the incident took place on the evening of May 26, 2022.

It took place on the night of an impromptu party in the communal kitchen to celebrate the passing of students' main first exam.

At the party, the female witness drank around three drinks and was described as drunk by colleagues, with witness accounts saying had been staggering and falling over, dancing in a sexualised manner with Butler.

The officer admitted she had been unsteady on her feet.

The young woman was taken to her room by two colleagues, one of them Butler, who remained in the room while the other left, and was sick twice in the sink.

It was after this that the two of them had sex.

The young woman gave evidence to say that this was non-consensual and she was "in state of shock and confused", but the panel found following other witness accounts that she was a "conscious and a willing participant", and was heard to have been enjoying herself.

The panel found that Butler – a single officer “of good character” in his mid-20s – did not recognise the witness’ vulnerability under the influence of alcohol, and demonstrated a lack of integrity to put his “own sexual gratification above the rights and welfare of a young female”.

Butler also demonstrated a lack of respect and courtesy toward her by openly discussing the events with a number of fellow officers and ‘high fiving’ a male colleague who instigated this the next day.

The conduct was also found to discredit the force and undermined public confidence in policing.

The misconduct tribunal - which took place between March 18 and 22, 2024 - found the behaviour amounted to gross misconduct, and PC Butler was dismissed with notice.