Police officer sacked after taking murder scene selfie while on duty

29 December 2021, 20:12 | Updated: 30 December 2021, 18:58

PC Ryan Connolly has been sacked following an investigation from Merseyside Police.
PC Ryan Connolly has been sacked following an investigation from Merseyside Police. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

A police officer who took a selfie at a murder scene and photographed vulnerable people while on duty has been sacked.

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Pc Ryan Connolly, who worked for Merseyside Police, was also found to have pictures on his phone of men who were in hospital - detained under the Mental Health Act - as well as racist and homophobic images.

The force confirmed he took the images on his personal phone while on duty - a breach of professional standards - describing Connolly's behaviour as "deplorable" after a gross misconduct hearing.

It came after Metropolitan Police officers Pc Deniz Jaffer and Pc Jamie Lewis were jailed earlier in December after they took photos of murdered sisters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman and shared them on WhatsApp.

Read more: Police officers who took pictures of murdered sisters jailed for two years and nine months

Read more: Police officers who shared photos of murdered sisters and called them 'dead birds' sacked

In its decision, the panel said: "Pc Connolly's actions were deliberate and planned; they caused significant distress to members of the public; but more than that, these actions (particularly with regard to his racism and homophobia and improper association with a known criminal) clearly have caused, and would cause, members of the public to lose confidence in the police as a whole."

Merseyside Deputy Chief Constable Ian Critchley confirmed Connolly had been formally dismissed from his post following a four-day hearing earlier in the 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."

Connolly was convicted of three offences of possession of extreme pornographic material in November and is due to be sentenced on January 10, a force spokesman said.