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Birmingham

Two policemen, one of whom described a woman as a "f****** slag", are to keep their jobs

Officers Christopher Guest and Cavan O’Connell left an abusive voicemail on Alex Faragher’s phone after a suspected incident of domestic violence.

West Midlands Police misconduct hearing Christopher Guest (closest to camera) and Cavan O'Connell being driven away from today's misconduct hearing in Birmingham PETER CORNS PETER CORNS

TWO POLICE OFFICERS who left an abusive voicemail on the phone of a woman who had been the suspected victim of a domestic violence incident will keep their jobs after being found guilty of professional misconduct at an official inquest.

PCs Christopher Guest (36) and Cavan O’Connell (51), who appeared in front of an official West Midlands Police professional standards inquest today, have been given final written warnings as to their conduct, but have received no further censure.

The two officers attended an appointment at Ms Faragher’s home on 13 January 2014, one which she failed to keep.

Guest subsequently left an abusive voicemail on Faragher’s phone by mistake in which she was called a “****ing bitch” and “****ing slag”.

A recording of the voicemail message can be heard at this link.

The domestic violence allegation has since been discontinued.

The Birmingham Mail reports that Guest has since apologised for the voicemail saying that he was “truly sorry” and that his conduct was borne out of “frustration”.

West Midlands Police misconduct hearing Alex Faragher in attendance at today's hearing PA Wire / PA Images PA Wire / PA Images / PA Images

Guest, who left the message, was given an 18-month written warning. Should he become embroiled in anything constituting further misconduct in that period he will lose his job.

O’Connell was censured for not pulling Guest up regarding his conduct. He received a 12-month warning.

The Birmingham Mail reports that the two men were found guilty of misconduct but avoided the more grievous charge of gross misconduct.

Chair of the inquest panel Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale said that the voicemail fell “substantially below what is expected of a West Midlands Police officer” and that written warning was a severe punishment that “sends out a clear message that this type of conduct is unacceptable”.

Solicitor for Ms Faragher Iain Gould said in a blog post today that the inquest had failed to deliver justice.

“My client, who attended both days of the police disciplinary tribunal, is extremely disappointed with not only the process, but also the findings, and result,” he said.

The panel at the police disciplinary tribunal and two officers may think that this matter is now settled. But for her, this story is not over.

West Midlands Police said in a statement that the conduct of the two officers had been ”dreadful”.

We apologise to Alex Faragher for her distress and reassure her that they take this matter extremely seriously.
We apologise for the poor service from the officers.

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