A disciplinary panel has recommended that a Chief Constable would have been sacked for making inappropriate sexual comments to senior colleagues if he had still been a serving officer.

Mike Veale was found guilty of gross misconduct when he left a female officer horrified when he told her she could ‘touch herself’ while they were travelling in her BMW to a meeting.

The ex-Cleveland Police boss was also found to caused outrage with the same woman when he said she and a male colleague were 'bedfellows, metaphorically and otherwise.'

The 57-year-old will be barred from working for any police force in the country of Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Steve Turner implements the recommendation.

Read next: Disgraced police officer would have been sacked for 'sex act' incident

During the disciplinary hearing, the panel was told how Mr Veale’s ten-month tenure in charge of the troubled force came to an end in January 2019 when the complaints first came to light.

The Northern Echo: Mike Veale, left, leaving the hearingMike Veale, left, leaving the hearing (Image: Newsquest)

The two officers, who cannot be named, spoke of the impact of the behaviour of their ex-boss when they gave evidence during the three-day hearing in Middlesbrough.

Witness B, who gave her evidence behind closed doors, told the panel that his comments had left her ‘mortified’.

While her colleague, Witness C, said the kind of ‘bedfellow’ insinuations had caused problems for other officers in the past and believed that his ex-boss had overstepped the mark on two occasions before he raised his concerns.

Asked by the PCC’s legal representative, Dijen Basu KC, why he raised the issue with the chief constable, he replied: “I was acutely aware of the damage that those type of insinuations and rumours could have on both of us.”

During his evidence, Mr Veale accepted that his language could be a ‘little sweary’ and his humour may have caused offence but was adamant that he had never made any inappropriate sexual comments during time in charge of the force.

The Northern Echo: Cleveland PCC Steve TurnerCleveland PCC Steve Turner (Image: Picture: CLEVELAND POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONER)

Lisa Oldroyd, chief executive and monitoring officer for the Office of the PCC, said: “I acknowledge the Panel’s decision that Mr Veale’s conduct has been proven and amounts to gross misconduct. I thank them for their work.

“The Panel will now prepare a report for the Police and Crime Commissioner to consider possible sanctions, which will be determined at a hearing scheduled in accordance with police regulations.”

Read more:

​Get more from The Northern Echo with a Premium Plus digital subscription from as little as only £1.50 a week. Click here

This is not the first time that the ex-senior officer has been embroiled in controversy.

Before he was chief constable of Cleveland Police, Mr Veale led an inquiry into sexual allegations against the late prime minister Sir Edward Heath when he was in charge of Wiltshire Police.

The former top cop was previously investigated after he was accused of smashing a mobile phone while playing golf in an attempt to destroy evidence.

A date for the PCC’s final hearing has yet to be determined but the ex-chief could be placed on the College of Policing barred list if the recommendation the panel ruled is followed.

Mr Veale will have the opportunity to appeal the decision.