A police officer who was sacked for drink-driving has now been found guilty of gross misconduct for throwing a beer can at a woman.

Former PC Liam Routledge would have faced dismissal had he not already left Northumbria Police in April this year following a ruling by a panel at Houghton Police Station yesterday (October 27).

The former officer, who served for 18 years, was also found guilty of accessing police database information with “no policing purpose” between May 10 and September 13, 2021, relating to himself and a neighbour.

Mr Routledge was found to have “deliberately or recklessly” injured a woman with a beer can on June 30, 2021, and later accessed the police database three times from July 1 to December 18, 2021, in an effort to ascertain whether the woman “had reported him to the police for the assault”.

Routledge was represented by a member of the Police Federation but no representations were made on his behalf.

Barrister Steven Steel, who represented the police force, said Mr Routledge has ‘no meaningful response to the allegations he faces’.

He added: “Mr Routledge would have been in no doubt that his access (of data) had no policing purpose.

“It was for personal gain and completely self-serving.”

Mr Steel went on to refer to the former officer's data access as a ‘pattern of behaviour’.

Mr Steel added: “There was no one else to blame for the behaviour. This was deliberate behaviour.

“The public has to have confidence that police only access data lawfully. Here, the data was accessed for personal gain.

“This can significantly undermine trust in the profession. This calculated behaviour is an area of national concern.

“It is imperative that police make it clear that conduct like this is unacceptable.”

A previous hearing was told Mr Routledge drove to Tesco in Rowlands Gill September 12 last year and was stopped by a concerned member of the public who believed he was inebriated.

He was arrested and a breath test reading showed 101 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – almost three times the legal limit.

In January this year he appeared before Teesside Magistrates Court, was found guilty of drink-driving and was banned for two years.


Get more content including the stories that matter to your community from The Northern Echo for just £3 for 3 months for a limited time only here.

A police misconduct hearing in April dismissed Mr Routledge without notice and placed him on the police barred list.

The misconduct hearing on Friday ruled that Mr Routledge was guilty of the allegations and said he would have been dismissed from the force had he not already left.

The panel’s chairperson Gerald Sydenham said: “Mr Routledge would have been dismissed without notice. This was the only appropriate sanction.”