A sergeant has been allowed to keep his job after sticking a colleague’s face on a pornographic picture as a Secret Santa present.

Sergeant Rob Adams, 37, based at Hastings, East Sussex, covered a naked model’s private parts in stickers and put his female colleague’s face over hers. 

The married father-of-two then gave the framed image to a male colleague as a Secret Santa present in December 2017.

A disciplinary panel found Sergeant Adams did not intend to cause harm and issued him a final warning.

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The hearing’s legally qualified chair Alice Sims said his behaviour was ‘puerile’ and sometimes ‘sexist’, but he did not deserve to lose his job.

She told him: ‘We feel that the public confidence in the reputation of the police service can be appropriately marked by calling this behaviour as misconduct and issuing a final warning. This is not a case that warrants dismissal.

‘The intended consequences were for humour and not to cause harm or offence. There was no evidence of any police officer being offended by his behaviour.

‘The behaviour was puerile, sexual in nature and, at times, sexist, but not at the more serious end of the scale.’

Ms Sims added that Sergeant Adams had received ‘exemplary references’, had shown remorse and had given ‘practical examples’ of how he had changed his behaviour.

Mark Aldred, representing Sergeant Adams, told the hearing the officer’s error had been ‘over-familiarity’ with his team.

He said: ‘His popularity has been a strength to the organisation. He has continued to serve at a high level.’

It comes after a detective at the same station in Hastings, East Sussex, was found guilty of gross misconduct for slapping a colleague’s bum with a ruler without her consent. Detective Sergeant Paul Elrick was issued a final warning last week.

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