Engaged Met Police detective 'groped colleague at the Christmas party'
Engaged Met Police detective groped female colleague after they danced at Christmas party… and only stopped when she reminded him of his fiancée and children, conduct tribunal hears
- Met Detective Inspector Jonathan Kent placed his hand on the officer’s bottom
- He was also said to have put his hand down her top and on intimate areas
- Kent says he believes the female colleague consented to the touching
- He is at police tribunal accused of gross misconduct, which he denies
An engaged Met Police detective groped a female colleague down her top at the Christmas party – before shaking her hand when she reminded him about his fiancée.
Detective Inspector Jonathan Kent placed his hands on the officer’s bottom and intimate areas after they danced at trendy Sway Bar in Holborn, central London, on December 12, 2019.
A police tribunal panel in London today was told the pair had hugged and kissed after leaving the dancefloor together before the woman – who cannot be named – reminded Kent of his ‘fiancée and children’.
DI Kent, formerly based at the Met Police Central West Command Unit, accepts he breached standards of professional behaviour in respect of authority, respect and courtesy.
But he insists those breaches amounted to misconduct, not gross misconduct.
He also says he believed that ‘at all times’, and ‘reasonably so’, the complainant, who is known only as Officer A, consented to the touching.
The woman was due to give evidence in private this afternoon at the Met Police disciplinary hearing.
Addressing Kent, panel chair Darren Snow said: ‘You touched Officer A more than once on her bottom and at the front over her clothing and placed your hand on her breasts under her top.’
Met Detective Inspector Jonathan Kent placed his hand on the officer’s bottom at the event
They both danced at trendy Sway Bar in Holborn, central London, on December 12, 2019
Counsel on behalf of the appropriate authority, Peter Taheri, told the panel the female officer did not consent to the touching.
Referring to CCTV footage of the entire incident shown only to panel members, Mr Taheri said Kent and Officer A were dancing together.
He explained ‘She walks away from him. See his right-hand touching Officer A’s bottom.’
There is further interaction between them inside and they then leave the dancefloor together, the panel was told.
Mr Taheri added: ‘He puts his hand on her back as they walk out the building initially to the smoking area but then they make their way around the side.
‘They have a hug. While hugging I can see Mr Kent placing his hand on her bottom.
‘After the hug she moves slightly away and I can see with his right hand he grabs her top…pulling her top towards him. I can see her movement with her hand to stop him.
‘He reaches for the top again.’
The misconduct hearing is at the International Dispute Resolution Centre in central London
After throwing his hands up in a submissive gesture, Mr Taheri told the panel that there was another hug.
He added: ‘While there is a hug, he puts his hand on her bottom again.
‘She has stepped back. She has put her hand on his chest creating a bit of distance between them.
‘He reaches for her top again, pulls her top again. She is holding her top to stop his hand going down her top.
‘She has given him a little punch in the chest.’
Following this, Officer A reaches out to shake Kent’s hand.
Mr Taheri went on: ‘Mr Kent with his left hand, while shaking her hand with his right hand, reaching and grabbing another intimate area over her clothing.
‘She then takes his hand and moves it slightly away from her private parts.’
Mr Taheri added: ‘What the appropriate authority will say that happens is that Mr Kent’s hand goes down her top although she tries to stop it going in…the hand does go in and touches her breast.
‘We then see his hands going behind his back and her then stepping back albeit in a somewhat unsteady manner.
‘He moves forward but she puts both hands out in front of her, effectively to block him from moving any further forward.’
There is another hug and a kiss.
‘After the kiss she moves back and I can see there…there is a clear hand movement, two from side to side, arms outwards indicating no, which the appropriate authority says is consistent with the officer’s evidence…reminding him of his fiancée and his children.
‘It ends with a friendly shake of hands.’
Both officers walk back into the club during which he delivers a further tap to her bottom.
Mr Taheri told the hearing: ‘She goes up to him and says something in his ear.
‘She then turns away, looks towards the people she was with… and one need not be a talented lip reader to guess what she says… she appears to mouth the word ‘f***’,’ Mr Taheri added.
The hearing, at the International Dispute Resolution Centre in central London, continues.
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