Thursday, August 04, 2016
Married police detective 'hid his affair with a killer’s solicitor while he was meant to be supporting the victim's devastated family'
A married police detective who supported the family of a murder victim had an affair with a solicitor representing one of the killers, a misconduct panel heard yesterday.
Detective Constable Peter Surgay was a family liaison officer during the investigation into the killing of Clifford Collinge who was battered with a guitar and metal clamp. The 61-year-old victim suffered 46 injuries including a fractured skull when he was murdered in his home in Warsop, Nottinghamshire, five years ago in October 2011.
Mr Surgay stands accused of being involved in a secret sexual and ‘volatile’ on-off relationship with solicitor Deborah Bell since 2009.
A Nottinghamshire Police misconduct panel heard that Ms Bell went on to act as a solicitor for Stephen Shreeves, who was one of Mr Collinge’s killers. Shreeves, 44, was one of two men found guilty of murder in July 2012 and was jailed for life at Nottingham Crown Court.
Mr Surgay is accused of failing to report the nature of the relationship which it has been argued could have potentially compromised a major investigation.
The hearing, which is being held at Nottinghamshire Police’s HQ, heard their affair was kept secret as the seasoned officer’s wife also served with the same force.
The panel heard Mr Surgay and Ms Bell went on holidays to California, Cornwall and Dublin together during their five-year relationship.
But the officer denies he had sex with Ms Bell, claiming it was ‘platonic relationship’ except for a ‘drunken fumble’ early on.
Nottinghamshire Police solicitor David Ring said: ‘The case is that DC Surgay was involved in a high-level, high-profile serious case in which Ms Bell had a professional interest and DC Surgay wanted to keep the relationship secret.
‘It was a matter of absolute common sense that a person in a position of trust such as a family liaison officer - the person who in effect supports the family during what must be an unbelievably traumatic experience - has the trust of the family.’
Ms Bell told the panel yesterday that the pair met up ‘fairly regularly’ and that she was aware Mr Surgay was married. She said she ended the relationship with ‘no animosity’ in 2013 and added: ‘I did not feel there was any mileage in it so it just came to a natural conclusion.’
Mr Surgay is facing another allegation of gross misconduct for sending ‘utterly appalling’ text messages to Ms Bell after the breakdown of their relationship.
He is also accused of misusing police systems over ‘an extended period of time’ in searching for his own surname as well as crimes around the area he lived in Kimberley, Nottinghamshire
Original report here
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Posted by bussorah at 3:05 PM