A police officer is facing the sack after it was alleged she urinated in a York clothes shop fitting room while drinking off duty and later lied about it to her bosses.
PC Amelia Shearer, of Cleveland Police, was accused of gross misconduct following the alleged incident, which is said to have happened at Urban Outfitters on High Ousegate, when she was socialising with a friend.
The retailer paid £492 to have the cubicle professionally cleaned and the store’s nine fitting rooms had to be closed, a disciplinary hearing at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium was told.
PC Shearer denies urinating in the store and lying to her inspector afterwards.
Olivia Checa-Dova, representing the force, said that by 3.30pm on Saturday 11 September, PC Shearer was drunk or affected by drink.
The officer is reported to have asked if there were any toilets for customers in the store, and when a member of staff said there were not, she went into a cubicle without any clothes to try on.
Sales associate Ryan Weir, who was staffing the fitting rooms that afternoon, told the hearing he called a manager on the radio for help.
Team leader Nicole Bean arrived and, when PC Shearer opened the door some minutes later, they saw there was a puddle of what smelled like urine on the floor of the changing room, Mr Weir said.
The hearing was told that PC Shearer “made a quick exit” but Mr Weir spotted her later, once his shift had finished, in a nearby bar.
Shocked by the situation
A police officer on duty that day was called to the store and he noted a damp patch on the wooden floor, but he was not sure what it was as he had not regained his sense of smell after having Covid, the panel was told.
Mr Weir said part of his role was to check and sanitise changing rooms after they had been used, and there was no wet patch when the previous customer had left it 10 minutes earlier.
Ms Checa-Dova said Pc Shearer told her inspector the next day that she had gone into the cubicle to try clothes on, but that was not correct, and her account now is that she went in to adjust her bra.
The barrister told the hearing that the Crown Prosecution Service had considered charging the officer with criminal damage but decided against it.
Ms Checa-Dova invited the disciplinary panel to find that the liquid found in the fitting room was urine, and that Pc Shearer was responsible, saying it was “just not likely” that the staff members would have lied about it and it would be “bizarre” if they were mistaken.
She said: “(You have) members of staff who were sober and an officer who was not.”
Joan Smith, for PC Shearer, asked Mr Weir why he did not say anything to the officer when she opened the cubicle door.
He replied: “I was quite shocked by the situation, I was not quite sure what to say.”
The hearing continues and is expected to conclude on Wednesday.