A SENIOR police officer accused of getting drunk and acting inappropriately at a cybersecurity conference has categorically denied the allegation.

Detective Inspector John Stansmore left the conference early and headed to the pub with a colleague where he spent the afternoon drinking, a disciplinary panel heard.

And the detective then failed to turn up for the second day as he was suffering from a ‘hangover’, it is alleged.

The 51-year-old maintains that he was not drunk while attending the conference in Cardiff but accepted he had several drinks during the day.

The senior Cleveland Police officer is also accused of sending inappropriate messages to a Whatsapp group for colleagues from forces across the region, which were described as ‘ribald and Carry On style humour’.

When asked about his behaviour in the group by his legal representative Guy Ladenburg, he replied: “I profusely apologise, I did not mean for this and I didn’t know that a Whatsapp group could be used in such a way.

“I have let myself down, I have let my colleagues down.”

Mr Ladenburg asked his client why he turned up late for the first day of the conference. DI Stansmore told the panel he was ‘feeling unwell’ and needed to go to the chemist to pick up some medication but denied it was due to him having a hangover.

When asked why he hadn’t stayed for the full day and headed to the pub, DI Stansmore said it was no unusual for him to leave early or not take part in every session as it wasn’t required of him by his superiors.

The panel was show CCTV footage from inside the Gatehouse pub where he was drinking pints with two colleagues before heading to different venues in the city.

DI Stansmore denied that he was staggering about when he got back to the hotel where he was staying with colleagues and denied swearing loudly in front of members of the public while talking in the bar.

Earlier in the hearing, Detective Sergeant Wayne Sinclair, from Durham Constabulary, told the hearing that DI Stansmore had been drinking while at the conference but denied the officer had done anything inappropriate.

The hearing continues.