Detective claims sex discrimination meant police ignored domestic abuse by his girlfriend

A police detective is suing his force for sex discrimination claiming his own domestic abuse was ignored because he is a man.

Detective Constable Gareth Yates claims he reported his girlfriend to Cheshire police for assault, theft and stalking but they did not deal with the allegations because of his gender.

He says that were he a woman reporting the same offences about her boyfriend the force would have taken action.

His claim was allowed to proceed by an employment judge who rejected Cheshire Police’s attempts to have it thrown out.

DC Yates claims his partner, who has not been named, subjected him to a campaign of abuse between 2013 and 2016 which also included a string of “malicious communications”.

In a judgement from a tribunal in Liverpool, Employment Judge John Sherratt said: “It is the claimant’s contention that the respondent did not record the offences that he alleged were committed against him by his then female partner, whereas had the police officer reporting crimes been female reporting offences against a male partner then the allegations would have been recorded as crimes and dealt with accordingly.

“The simple facts appear to be that the claimant is a police constable and from 2003 was in a relationship with a woman who was not a police constable. Her identity is not relevant for the purposes of this judgement.

“The relationship appears to have had its difficulties the police were involved resulting in the matters set out.”

DC Yates reported several alleged crimes by his partner between July 2013 and September 2016, the tribunal was told.

They include an assault in 2013, theft and stalking in 2015 and a series of malicious communications between 2013 and 2016.

Cheshire Constabulary had tried to have the sex discrimination claim thrown out on the grounds that they were now investigating his claims therefore there could not be any discrimination.

But DC Yates said the force’s decision to eventually investigate his allegations supported his claim.

The force also said the claim has little or no reasonable prospect of success, adding that defects in their system of reporting crime identified in 2017 were organisational and nothing to do with DC Yates’s gender.

Judge Sherratt ruled: “The outcome of the current investigation may be relevant to the question of remedy but not, in my judgement, to the question of liability. The application for a stay is therefore refused.”

Summarising Cheshire Police’s case Judge Sherratt said: “Further, matters referred to by the claimant’s then partner which could have been recorded as crimes against her by the claimant were not recorded, thus again establishing that any defects in crime recording were not because of the sex of the person making the report.”

DC Yates represented himself at the most recent tribunal hearing when the employment judge said his sex discrimination claim will proceed to a full hearing.

He dismissed another claim of victimisation due to making a public interest disclosure.

An application by DC Yates to amend his claim to include one of detriment due to public interest disclosure was also dismissed.

Allowing the claim of direct sex discrimination to go to a full hearing, employment Judge Sherratt said: “I do not consider it appropriate to strike out the claim without the evidence being heard and tested.”

By Ben Gelblum and Lewis Pennock

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