A police officer who reportedly took selfies at a murder scene and photographed vulnerable people while on duty has been formally dismissed.
The behaviour of PC Ryan Connolly was described as “deplorable” by Merseyside Police after a gross misconduct hearing also found he had stored racist and homophobic images on his phone between 2015 and 2018.
The Guardian reported he took photos of himself after being assigned to guard a cordon at a scene where a teenager had been stabbed to death in 2018.
The newspaper also reported Connolly had grossly racist photos and graphics, one depicting Muslim people and another of a Ku Klux Klan member, and had taken photos of men detained under mental health powers while they were in hospital in 2016 and 2017 and shared them via WhatsApp.
He also took and shared a photo of someone who had slashed their wrists as well as a fellow officer’s rear and sent a graphic homophobic message in 2016, according to the newspaper.
Connolly was also reported to have taken photos of crime victims and shared details about a woman who went to police for help after allegedly suffering domestic violence.
His case comes following the sentencing of Metropolitan Police officers PC Deniz Jaffer and PC Jamie Lewis, who were jailed earlier this month after they took photos of murdered sisters Bibaa Henry, 46, and Nicole Smallman, 27, and shared them on WhatsApp.
Deputy chief constable Ian Critchley confirmed Connolly had been formally dismissed from his post following a four-day hearing earlier this year.
He said: “I am appalled by Connolly’s actions, they are beyond comprehension and are not in keeping with the high standards and values that we expect here at Merseyside Police.
“Our officers carry out exceptionally brave, selfless acts every single day, protecting the most vulnerable people in our communities, yet here we see the despicable acts of a very selfish individual who has no place in our police service.
“An investigation by our Anti-Corruption Unit uncovered the fact that Connolly had been using his own phone to take photographs of vulnerable people whilst on duty and that the phone also contained appalling homophobic, racist and offensive images.
“It also revealed that Connolly was an associate of a known criminal and had not declared this association.
“His actions are an insult to the uniform and the police service, which consistently strives to protect our communities and provide a professional and inclusive service to the people of Merseyside.
“The behaviour of this officer is deplorable and serves to undermine the public’s confidence and trust in the police.
“We are quite clear, if any officer is found to be behaving in a way that does not meet our high standards we will take swift and robust action.”
Outcomes of police misconduct hearings are usually published on the internet, but a spokesman for the force said the findings only appeared on the website for a limited time period and the outcome of Connolly’s case was no longer online.
Connolly was convicted of three offences of possession of extreme material in November and is due to be sentenced on January 10, a force spokesman said.