PC jailed after ignoring PSD orders not to have relationship with drink-drive suspect
An officer has been jailed for 12 months after becoming involved in a sexual relationship with a vulnerable detainee.
Former Police Constable Michael Luckett, 32, who was based in Warrington, Cheshire, was given a 12-month prison sentence at Manchester Crown Court on Friday (January 31) after admitting ignoring Professional Standards Department (PSD) advice to avoid any contact with the woman.
He had previously pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office and resigned from his post at Cheshire Constabulary.
The court heard how Luckett initially met the 30-year-old woman on January 19, 2019, after she was involved in a collision in Warrington. She was arrested at the scene by Luckett after failing a roadside breath test and later charged with drink-driving.
The officer completed a formal assessment and declared the woman vulnerable as part of the investigation.
However, approximately five weeks later, the woman contacted him via Facebook Messenger and the pair had a conversation that lasted for more than 30 minutes.
Luckett immediately reported the contact to his supervisor, who warned him not to engage with her and told him to block her on Facebook. His supervisor also reported the incident to the PSD.
Due to Luckett’s openness, a decision was taken by the PSD to issue him with management advice informing him not to engage in any contact with the woman.
The case against the woman was also reassigned to a different officer, although Luckett was still listed as a witness in the case.
The woman subsequently appeared at Warrington Magistrates’ Court on April 12, 2019, where she pleaded guilty to drink-driving and was given a 20-month driving ban.
Shortly after the court hearing, Luckett revealed to a Police Federation representative that he was in a relationship with the woman and intended to inform his managers.
Their relationship was reported to the PSD and an investigation was launched to determine when it had begun.
Officers discovered that Luckett had unblocked the woman on Facebook on March 4 and subsequently contacted her.
Cheshire Constabulary said within weeks, Luckett became involved in a sexual relationship with her, despite all the warnings he had received and the fact that the case against her had not concluded.
Luckett was subsequently arrested and charged with misconduct in public office.
Following a misconduct hearing held last week, Detective Chief Inspector Alison Ross, deputy head of the force’s PSD, said: “As a serving officer, Luckett held a position of trust and swore an oath in which he promised to abide by the clear guidelines about the standards expected from him.
“Sadly, despite the fact that he was well aware of these standards, he chose to ignore them and engaged in a sexual relationship with a vulnerable woman in a case he was supposed to be managing. His personal behaviour was totally inappropriate for a serving police officer.
“While Luckett pleaded guilty and has now resigned from the force, that does not in any way excuse his behaviour and I hope that the outcome of this case reassures the public by demonstrating that nobody is above the law, no matter what position they hold.”
Deputy Chief Constable Julie Cooke added: “It is essential that the people of Cheshire have both confidence and trust in the service we deliver.
“We actively promote the highest standards of personal and professional behaviour and integrity to all officers and staff.
“I want to ensure that anyone who turns to us for help, or who finds themselves in need of our assistance, can be completely confident that they will be treated with the courtesy, respect and professionalism they deserve.
“Unfortunately, in this case Luckett’s behaviour fell well below the level expected of a serving officer and he grossly undermined the privileged position that his role as a member of Cheshire Constabulary demands and expects.”
Following the hearing, Chief Constable Darren Martland determined that had former PC Luckett not resigned he would have been dismissed without notice and therefore he has been added to the College of Policing Barred List, meaning he will be prevented from working in law enforcement in the future.