A female police officer has been sacked after grooming a suicidal 19-year-old who she had previously helped talk down from a bridge.
PC Jennifer Regan, 38, emailed and texted the vulnerable woman she had met through her work ‘in a manner that was wholly inappropriate’, it was said.
She also invited the teen – who has a ‘lengthy history’ of mental health issues – to spend the night at her flat, a misconduct panel found.
PC Regan has now been dismissed from her role with Cheshire Police without notice after a panel found her to be guilty of gross misconduct.
The response officer first met the teen on January 3, 2018, after she had been detained under the Mental Health Act and taken to hospital following an overdose.
The teenager – who suffers from a personality disorder – then absconded from Hollins Park Hospital on January 26, 2018.
A member of the public reported the teen was threatening to jump off a bridge and PC Regan was dispatched to the scene, initially to close off the road.
After helping to talk the teen down, the pair then exchanged email addresses, a misconduct panel heard.
They then met for a third time on April 24, 2018, when the teen attended Warrington Hospital’s A&E department
Six days later, PC Regan – who joined the force as a PCSO in 2009 before becoming a police officer in 2015 – sent an email from her work address offering to meet ‘for a chat and a brew’.
PC Regan then sent the vulnerable teen her mobile number from her personal email address and exchanged a series of text messages during the first two weeks of July 2018, a misconduct panel heard.
In these texts, PC Regan, based at Warrington Police Station, said: “I’d like to keep in touch with you because I think you’re a great person and I reckon you could make me smile a lot.
“The job introduced us, but it’s you that made me want to say hi outside of that.
“I also think you’re pretty amazing by the way.
“All I’m saying is, I think you’re a great person and I’m glad we met.”
On Tuesday, July 17, 2018, PC Regan sent the teen a text saying: “If you’re feeling adventurous you could come and see me?”
She then offered to pay for a taxi for the woman to make the trip from Warrington to her flat in Manchester, and to drive her back home the following morning, it was said.
At around 7pm, the teenager set off in the taxi to meet with PC Regan.
But at 9.30pm, the teen began to send a series of texts saying she ‘felt uncomfortable and wanted to leave’.
She then left the flat, alleging PC Regan had made sexual comments.
The following day, the officer texted the teen saying: “Hope I didn’t upset you at all last night.”
PC Regan admitted sending the messages and inviting the woman to her flat, but denied she had made the sexual comments or acted inappropriately.
The panel’s findings said: “We found that the misconduct was very serious because it undermined the public’s trust in the police.
“We found that PC Regan still did not understand or appreciate the seriousness of what she had done, nor the importance of maintaining a clear distinction between professional and personal interests.
“The misconduct was aggravated by the teenager’s vulnerability.
“She is a fragile young woman, and the potential harm to her was great – she is unstable, and it takes very little to push her too far.
“We acknowledge PC Regan’s service as a police officer and as a PCSO, but the inevitable outcome was she should be dismissed without notice.”
Cheshire Police has declined to comment as PC Regan is appealing the panel’s decision.