Special Constable with Northamptonshire Police took picture of colleague in her underwear

The disciplinary hearing was held at Northamptonshire Police's headquarters, at Wootton Hall.
The disciplinary hearing was held at Northamptonshire Police's headquarters, at Wootton Hall.

A former Special Constable for Northamptonshire Police has been found guilty of possessing extreme images, and a picture of his colleague's bottom.

Adam Heath-Gardiner admitted to taking a photograph of his colleagues bottom without her consent, while she was asleep and partially clothed, and also admitted to viewing pictures and videos of extreme porn.

It came to light after after Northamptonshire Police received a report on September 27, 2016 from ‘Witness A’ that she had found a picture of herself in her underwear on Heath-Gardiner's device.

The picture was taken at the time the officer was at Witness A’s house and he was helping to babysit her children.

Heath-Gardiner was friends with Witness A - whose anonymity has been protected - and he had previously given her permission to access to his laptop.

A misconduct panel at Wootton Hall yesterday (Wednesday) decided that, had he not already quit, Heath-Gardiner would have been sacked on the spot.

Chief Constable for Northamptonshire Police Nick Adderly told him: “You blatantly violated her human rights and you did so in her own home where she was meant to feel most safe.”

Three devices including a laptop, a Kindle Fire and mobile phone were seized and examined.

He was later arrested and charged for voyeurism and extreme images but both cases were discontinued by the CPS.

The former special denied that he took the images for sexual gratification.

Solicitor for Northamptonshire Police Elizabeth Briggs, said: "It was an abuse of trust. This was a friend and colleague."

On his seized devices, 20 extreme pornographic images were found.

The former officer said he had been sent them on a messaging website called Kik Messenger.

It was here that he received links which, when clicked on, downloaded images to his machine.

It was only when he opened the images, he said, that he realised they were illegal.

Images were stored to a ‘cloud’ on Microsoft OneDrive, and he said he was unaware pictures would transfer to other devices.

Heath-Gardiner believed he had deleted them but he did not report the pictures to his bosses because he was “embarrassed.”

“You have admitted to the offences and I have to give you some credit for that although the evidence does speak for itself,” Chief Constable Adderly added.

Heath-Gardiner - who represented himself at the disciplinary hearing - was found guilty by the panel of gross misconduct.