A police officer who failed to arrest a stalker after he broke into his ex’s house and was dishonest with colleagues about the incident has been sacked without notice.

An Avon & Somerset Constabulary misconduct panel ruled that PC Tamsin Devlin committed gross misconduct.

Barrister Julian King, representing the Taunton-based constable, said she should receive a final written warning and continue working for the force.

But the panel, chaired by independent Legally Qualified Chair Peter Cadman, agreed with constabulary barrister Mark Ley-Morgan that she should be dismissed for breaching standards of professional behaviour.

Mr Cadman said: “This was a single episode. We have noted the officer’s character references, that there were no previous matters and her good behaviour since.

“However, the panel did find that a final written warning would not be proportionate.

“The matter of dishonesty has been established. The only proportionate outcome here is dismissal.”

PC Devlin admitted misconduct but denied doing anything wrong and insisted she had not been dishonest, although she did accept she should have arrested the man.

The two-day hearing at Avon & Somerset Police headquarters in Portishead was told the officer and a junior colleague attended a domestic abuse incident following a 999 call from the woman at the house, Ms A, around 10.50pm in February 2023.

The mother-of-two’s former partner, Mr B, had refused to accept their relationship was over and climbed into the property through a bedroom window before hiding in a treehouse in the garden when police arrived, the panel heard.

He slipped past the constables to get back into the house, burst into a bathroom where the woman had locked herself in, pushed her into the bathtub and grabbed the family dog by the neck before trying to leave with it.

Despite police guidance that an arrest should be made when an offence had been committed in a domestic abuse incident, along with “alarm bells” that Mr B had no money, nowhere to go and would sleep on a nearby bench, PC Devlin did not apprehend him.

She then told her young female colleague that no offences had been committed and deliberately repeated this to the control room despite knowing it was false – an allegation the officer denied but the panel upheld on Tuesday, February 6.

The man returned to the address at 7.15am the following day and was arrested by other police before a subsequent guilty plea and conviction for stalking, assault and criminal damage.

Mr Ley-Morgan told the hearing that PC Devlin’s actions were “so bad” that they amounted to gross misconduct and that they exposed Ms A and her children, none of whom can be named for legal reasons, to the “risk of injury and more distress”.

He said PC Devlin went against national guidance by asking the woman if she wanted to make a complaint or statement and that the officer should have made the decision to arrest Mr B.

The officer, who joined the police in 2017, was found to have breached the standards of professional behaviour in terms of honesty and integrity, orders and instructions, duties and responsibilities, and discreditable conduct.