A BARROW woman has spoken of her relief after a police panel believed her and sacked the cop who was seeing her while on duty.

Barrow-based PC Matt Simpson admitted engaging in a casual relationship between 2014 and 2016 after meeting online.

PC Simpson, 29, insisted sexual encounters occurred only after shifts had finished.

But the woman told a misconduct hearing in Penrith this week there were ‘more than 20’ visits by the officer - an aspiring detective - when he should have been working.

“It wasn’t a relationship everybody knew about,” the woman, referred to as Miss X, said while giving evidence.

“He would turn his radio on loud when we were having sex in case his collar number got called out.

“Sometimes he didn’t even take his pants off properly in case he had to rush off.”

PC Simpson, an officer with six years’ service, appeared before a disciplinary panel accused of breaching the force’s standards of professional behaviour.

Members of the panel were asked to determine, on the balance of probability, whether the breaches occurred.

The panel concluded it had found gross misconduct both in relation to PC Simpson’s on-duty sexual contact with Miss X, and searches he made for her on a police computer system in October, 2015, due to being “personally curious”.

The panel also found simple misconduct on the PC’s part in relation to police material retained on his phone and at a home address, and work images sent to his partner.

It heard, by contrast, of PC Simpson’s positive service to the force over a decade; heroic out-of-hours acts; and considered testimonials and certificates of merit, appreciation and service for work as a police officer and special constable.

“The positive character attributes of PC Simpson that we have observed in this hearing and that have been described in his testimonials are not such as to outweigh the panel’s confidence in Miss X as a truth teller,” panel chair Nicholas Walker said.

“She had no reason to lie and we find that she did not.

“The panel is satisfied that his conduct has discredited the police service, such that dismissal might be justified. The panel finds gross misconduct.”

After the hearing the woman said: “I’m relieved the panel could tell I was telling the truth.”

Cumbria Police’s Deputy Chief Constable, Mark Webster, said in response: “The officers and staff of Cumbria Constabulary are held to an extremely high standard of integrity and professionalism and, where this standard is not met, we will act.

“In this instance, it is clear that the actions of PC Simpson fell far below the standard we expect and he has rightfully been dismissed for gross misconduct as a result.

“The overwhelming majority of staff and officers who work each day on behalf of the people of Cumbria act in a way in which we can all be proud.

“I welcome today’s outcome and hope the result from this misconduct hearing displays to the public that where an officer or staff member fails to uphold the standards expected, they will be held accountable.

“I would like to thank the independent legally qualified chair and his panel for their diligence and thoroughness throughout the misconduct hearing this week.”