A drunken police officer dressed in a Christmas jumper and Santa hat put his penis in a pool table pocket 'as a joke',  a misconduct hearing was told. 

PC Daniel Burke had been an acting temporary sergeant for Northumbria Police for just seven months when he exposed his genitals in a pub surrounded by colleagues on a work night out in November 2022.

He later 'apologised profusely' for his actions which he admitted to in previous interviews before the misconduct hearing at Houghton Police Station on Wednesday.  (March 27).

The hearing was told Mr Burke was thought to have broken police standards amounting to discreditable conduct and authority, respect, and courtesy.

A video played to the hearing showed Mr Burke, who had consumed a 'considerable amount of alcohol' taking out his genitals and placing them into two different pockets of a pool table in the pub.

The hearing was told four instances were recorded; the first being where Mr Burke pretended to show his genitals and a further three where they were taken out.

Steven Reed, making representations on behalf of the force, said that PC Burke had 'apologised profusely' and admitted his actions in previous interviews.

He told the hearing two officers had challenged the behaviour during the incident.

Mr Reed said while it was not sexually motivated the conduct had a sexual element and was unacceptable for a serving police officer.

He said: “PC Burke knows that he was expected to set the standard. The conduct was deliberate, and it was repeated.

“The officer has acted in a way which has damaged his own reputation and the reputation of policing.

"His behaviour could be reasonably deemed to be offensive.”

He went on to state that the notion that the public did not see him or were not offended by the incident was 'not a defence' and behaviour like this is 'an area of local and national concern'.

Ben Tighe, making representations on behalf of PC Burke, said it was 'obvious' that the incident was 'a joke', adding that 'there cannot be any question of harassment' or of 'bullying'.

He said: “Everyone there thought it was hilarious. We have here a situation that this was essentially a joke. This was humorous.”

During his submissions, Mr Tighe added that it was clear that PC Burke was 'off duty' and stated that he has a right to privacy under article eight of the European Convention of Human Rights.

He said: "It is relevant that the officer was off duty."

The panel found PC Burke's actions amounted to gross misconduct and he has been dismissed without notice.