Northern Ireland news

Co Fermanagh police officer returned for trial on misconduct charges over alleged sexual relationship

Timothy Hampton appeared for a committal hearing by video-link from his solicitor’s office

A SERVING police officer based in Co Fermanagh has been returned for trial on charges of alleged misconduct in public office relating to a sexual relationship with a vulnerable female.

Timothy Hampton whose age is unknown and with an address given as Enniskillen PSNI Station, but currently suspended, appeared for a committal hearing by video-link from his solicitor’s office, to have the three charges read to him.

He is accused of two counts of misconduct in public office and a single count of unauthorised access to computer material.

According to court papers, between June 9 and September 5 2021 Hampton is alleged to have wilfully misconducted himself amounting to an abuse of public trust in him as a police officer, by engaging in a sexual relationship while on duty with a female member of the public he came into contact with during the course of his duties, in the knowledge she was vulnerable and for his own benefit or satisfaction.

It is further alleged between the same dates he also wilfully misconducted himself by failing to notify police that he had knowledge the female made a false report of an incident to police, and he thereafter encouraged her to make a further false report to police without reasonable excuse or justification.

Finally, on September 5 2021, Hampton is accused of causing a computer to perform a function with intent to secure access to a program or data contained therein, which was an unauthorised action and he knew this at the time of alleged offending.

A prosecuting lawyer told Enniskillen Magistrates Court there is a case to answer which was agreed by District Judge Alana McSorley.

Hampton confirmed he understood the charges and did not object to the proceedings.

When asked if he wished to call witnesses or give evidence on his own behalf he replied: "Not at this time".

Judge McSorley remanded him on £200 bail to appear for arraignment at Dungannon Crown Court on February 28.

An application for Legal Aid was granted.

When previously asked to clarify Hampton’s current employment status ahead of the pending the criminal proceedings, a PSNI spokesperson replied: "This officer is suspended and the matter is being investigated by the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland".

Northern Ireland news