A Northumbrian police officer has been fired from her job after being charged for using racist language at an Indian restaurant.
On December 14 last year PC Katie Barratt was accused of calling a member of staff at the Spice of Punjab takeaway in Newcastle a "f*****g p**i."
The 22-year-old lobbied with these accusations by PC Corey Bradly and PC Alex Downs who were with her on the evening.
Both officers testified against Barratt at a hearing, who denied the claims. She is also alleged to have used other racist terms.
Barratt, who was said to have been "out of control" and intoxicated on the night, was reportedly heard shouting "f*****g p**i" and "f*****g n****r" at staff.
She accepted that she used the word "p**i" twice, despite others claiming that she had used the world at least six times.
Staff nor other customers in the restaurant at the time admitted to hearing what Barratt said. The hearing, which was led by Rachel Mangenie on Wednesday, found that both allegations against Barrat were proven.
Ms Mangenie is quoted by the Daily Mail as saying:
We have concluded that on the balance of probability your conduct amounts to gross misconduct as your behaviour on December 14, 2017, fell far below the standard of professional behaviour and is so serious that dismissal without notice would be justified.
Barratt has been a part of the force since 2016, accepted that her behaviour was unacceptable but did not feel that her actions warranted a dismissal.
She is quoted as saying:
I'm really sorry for what I've done. I can't emphasise how sorry I am. It's my dream job. It's all I wanted to do since I was little.
I know the effects racial abuse have on the community. I'm absolutely devastated that I have had that effect on the community.
In the last six months, I have had time to reflect on my actions and I will never ever repeat again what happened that night.
I have matured a lot. I don't go out anymore, I don't drink. I'm pleading with you to please give me another chance.
Barratt's defendant, Guy Landenburg insisted that the incident was "out of character" for her and that she was of "exemplary character".
However, Mangenie said that although they sympathised with Barratt, the "highly sensitive" nature of the incident was too serious to ignore.
The panel concluded the appropriate sanction is dismissal without notice.
This has not been a unanimous decision, we have sympathy for PC Barratt and the situation she finds herself in.
We don't believe she is inherently racist and this was an out of character incident.
The serious nature of the incident and the public perception cannot be underestimated. This issue is highly sensitive and the words used can cause great offence.
Any member of the public hearing such words from a serving police officer would have their confidence in the officer and service diminished.