Police officer who 'tried it on' with domestic abuse victims is sacked

Police officer, 50, who ‘tried it on’ with four domestic abuse victims, asked them ‘for nudes’ and told one she was ‘too pretty’ for her boyfriend is sacked after being found guilty of misconduct

  • Father-of-two PC Colin Noble was sacked after being found guilty of misconduct 
  • The married West Midlands Poice officer had served in the force for 20 years
  • Tribunal heard he told one victim she was ‘fit’ and inquired if she ‘had any nudes’
  • He was dismissed with immediate effect but has the right to appeal the decision

A police officer who ‘tried it on’ with four domestic abuse victims, asked them ‘for nudes’ and told one she was ‘too pretty’ for her boyfriend has been sacked after being found guilty of misconduct.  

Married father-of-two PC Colin Noble, who had been a serving officer with West Midlands Police for 20 years, claimed he only called one woman ‘fit’ in a ‘ham-fisted’ attempt at ‘boosting her confidence’, and had a particular ‘style’ aimed at building rapport.

But the 50 year old also looked at her breasts, asking to ‘see what you are working with’, suggested she ‘unbutton’ her shirt, and inquired if she ‘had any nudes’.

Unknown to the experienced officer, he was secretly recorded by that complainant, known as Miss X, because of her concerns about his behaviour.

Audio of those conversations was played during a six-day disciplinary hearing at the force’s headquarter. 

PC Colin Noble (pictured), a married father of two who had been a serving officer with West Midlands Police for 20 years, was found guilty of misconduct and sacked today

The disciplinary hearing also heard evidence from the other complainants where he was alleged to have made a ‘catalogue of completely inappropriate comments’ between 2014 and 2017.

A three-member panel found the case against the 50-year-old proven on Monday, stating they ‘preferred the account’ of Miss X, and three other complainants, Miss A, B and C, over that of Noble.

Nick Hawkins, the legally qualified chairman giving the tribunal’s findings, said that, by contrast, they found the evidence given by Noble to be at times ‘inconsistent’, and in some cases ‘attempting to fit his explanations to known facts’.

Mr Hawkins added that the tribunal found ‘significant evidence of PC Noble using sexualised talk and making inappropriate suggestions’ to Miss X.

‘The panel considered the improbability of the chances the four female witnesses, who had never met each other, nor seen each other’s statements, or knew of each other’s allegations, making such strikingly similar allegations,’ he said.

‘Either PC Noble was extremely unfortunate in that (they) all invented allegations that were strikingly similar, or they are telling the truth and the similarities are because they reflect the way PC Noble behaves with vulnerable victims of domestic violence.’

Mr Hawkins said: ‘The panel concluded the most likely explanation is they are telling the truth and the events happened as alleged.’

Graham Henson, Noble’s barrister, told the panel his client had a ‘long, unblemished record’; however, the tribunal decided the constable’s breaches of professional standards were so serious he should be dismissed without notice.

The tribunal heard Noble (pictured) ‘tried it on’ with four domestic abuse victims, asked them ‘for nudes’ and told one she was ‘too pretty’ for her boyfriend

Mr Hawkins told Noble: ‘Your behaviour towards these women was totally unprofessional and inappropriate.

‘Rather than offering assistance, you sought to further a relationship with each of the four women.’

He added: ‘The way you treated them was appalling.’

Mr Hawkins said Noble’s misconduct could only be described as ‘serious breaches’, adding the ‘only appropriate sanction that can be imposed on you today is of dismissal without notice’.

‘That is the sanction we impose,’ he added.

Noble has a right of appeal.

Giving findings of fact, the panel concluded that Noble had turned up at Miss A’s house unannounced up to 30 times, telling her she was ‘too pretty’ for her boyfriend.

He also touched her neck, asking to see her tattoos, and whether he could see those on her thighs, and asked if she had ‘ever slept with a black man’.

The complainant, giving evidence, said Noble’s remarks made her feel ‘weird and sick’ – adding: ‘It’s just not nice… you believe you can trust people but you can’t.’

Another complainant, Miss C, said she and PC Noble had developed a ‘semi-relationship’.

The domestic abuse victim said the officer had asked her ‘How can you be single wearing those boots?’ – referring to the thigh-high boots she had been wearing during a police interview.

Noble told her he could ‘get into trouble’ for contacting her but had also asked her out for a drink.

Nick Hawkins, the legally qualified chairman giving the tribunal’s findings said it found ‘significant evidence of PC Noble using sexualised talk and making inappropriate suggestions’ to Miss X

The fourth complainant, Miss B, whom the panel said they also found ‘honest and truthful’, said Noble had phoned her three times, to insist he needed to meet her at her home, alone.

Giving evidence, she described Noble as ‘being too pushy’, adding he ‘just wouldn’t lay off’, and in the end she lied about having moved away from the Midlands to stop his calls.

‘It felt a little bit like the way my ex treated me, putting pressure on me, doing things I don’t want to,’ she said.

Mr Hawkins said Miss B ‘had no reason to lie about her interactions’, which had happened some years ago, adding that ‘she told the panel she was giving evidence because it might help another woman get justice’.

Miss A, Miss B and Miss C all came forward to report Noble following publicity surrounding his criminal trial at Birmingham Crown Court in 2019, in which he was acquitted of a charge of misconduct in a public office in connection with the allegations made by Miss X. 

Today Noble was dismissed with immediate effect after the panel found the case for gross misconduct proven following an eight day hearing.

Miss A, Miss B and Miss C all came forward to report Noble (pictured) following publicity surrounding his criminal trial at Birmingham Crown Court in 2019

The hearing at Midlands Police’s Lloyd House HQ was told Noble had spent three years working for the force’s Public Protection Unit based in Stechford, Birmingham.

He visited a victim of domestic abuse in her home on several occasions from June 2017.

When the woman became uneasy with his ‘flirty’ behaviour, she began to record their conversations.

These recordings were said to have contained ‘wholly inappropriate sexualised comments and advances.’

Noble continued to visit and phone the woman even when he had no policing reason to do so.

In August of the same year, the woman complained and the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) commenced an independent investigation.

After Noble was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing, the officer was posted to a non-public facing role while the force investigated the claims.

They identified other women who had experienced the same predatory behaviour and the IOPC deemed his behaviour amounted to gross misconduct.

Deputy Chief Constable Vanessa Jardine, of West Midlands Police, said after the hearing: ‘PC Noble is not representative of our organisation.

‘The behaviour he carried out will never be acceptable or tolerated in this organisation whose core value is to prevent crime, protect the public and help those in need.

‘We will be relentless in routing out individuals who behave in this way.

‘I am pleased that PC Noble has now been dismissed from the force but remain saddened by his actions.’

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