A police officer has been accused of sending explicit videos that he filmed in a police station to a woman with whom he was in an "improper sexual relationship".

PC Christopher Leach of South Wales Police has been accused of eight breaches of standards of professional behaviour that are considered “so serious they amount to gross misconduct”. He is also accused of going to the woman's house and having sex with her while on duty. A misconduct hearing heard the officer came into contact with the woman within the course of his duty and that she was vulnerable to an abuse of trust or power.

He is accused of filming and sending three videos of himself masturbating in police uniform while on duty and of conducting an unlawful computer check on the woman for no policing purpose. It is also claimed Leach sought to mislead investigators on two occasions while under caution.

Leach, who has worked for the force for five years, denies all the allegations. He admitted filming himself masturbating in the toilets of Cathays police station but claimed he wasn't on duty.

The misconduct hearing at Cardiff County Hall heard that from June 2016 Leach pursued and later established a relationship with the woman, 35, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

Jonathan Walters, counsel for South Wales Police, told the hearing that Leach met the woman while following up a report. He said that at the time she was considered a potential witness.

After speaking to the woman at her place of work, Leach went to her home address to ask her to sign a witness statement that she had provided and gave her his personal phone number.

Leach told the hearing he wanted to forge a friendship because the two "had a lot in common" and were both "professional people". He said that both were in other relationships at the time and bonded over the problems they were having. He said he was in the process of separating from his ex-wife with whom he had a young son.

However, Mr Walters claims that while their relationship initially started out as a friendship, it was Leach's intention to begin a sexual relationship.

He said that Leach set out to "weave his web" and "blur the lines between a professional and personal relationship". He read out texts Leach sent to the woman in June and July of 2016, in which he described her as "stunning" and "gorgeous" and asked if she wanted to go for a coffee.

Leach denied these claims, saying his comments were "harmless flirting" between two friends. In October 2016, Leach and the woman went on to begin a sexual relationship. It was alleged that on October 20, shortly after their relationship became sexual, Leach carried out “unlawful computer checks” on her.

He admitted carrying out the searches but claimed they were carried out while he was following tip-offs she had given him about drug dealing at her place of work.

The hearing was told that their relationship ended in February 2017 and Leach began a relationship with another police officer. However, from around June 2017, Leach and the woman started seeing each other again and began a sexual relationship while Leach was still in a relationship with the police officer.

It is then alleged that on June 7, June 8 and July 19, 2017, Leach filmed himself masturbating while inside Cathays police station, when in police uniform and while on duty. He then sent them to the woman.

Leach admitted filming two videos in the toilets of the station while in his police uniform, saying it gave him a "thrill", and admitted sending them to the woman while on duty, but denied filming them while he was working. He claims he filmed the explicit videos before his shift started, kept them on his phone and sent them to the woman if she asked.

He said that when he was unable to see her, they would communicate by sending explicit messages and videos to each other.

 

It was alleged that on July 8, 2017, while on duty, Leach went round to the woman’s house and had sex with her. Giving evidence, the woman told the hearing that Leach had visited her home and they had sex in the hall. She said she recalled asking him whether his body cam was on because she was concerned they would be recorded.

Leach denies this allegation.

In August 2017, the woman discovered that Leach was also in a relationship with a police officer and contacted her to tell  her about their relationship. In order to prove that she and Leach had been in a sexual relationship, she sent screenshots of conversations and stills of explicit videos Leach had sent.

Leach is also accused of two breaches of "honesty and integrity", by seeking to mislead his supervisor by failing to disclose the full extent of contact between himself and the woman.

The misconduct hearing continues.