Police officer sacked after bugging former wife’s home

A police officer was sacked after it was revealed he bugged his former wife’s home and spied on her.

PC Christopher Birkett of South Yorkshire Police listened into his ex-partner’s conversations on 1,300 occasions between March 2017 and August 2017. 

He concealed listening devices in an iPhone docking station, baby monitor and USB charger that he gave to the woman as a ‘gift’ following their separation, after she moved into a rented flat with their three children.

Oliva Checa-Dover, acting on behalf of South Yorkshire Police at the misconduct hearing, said the woman had discovered the bugs ‘by accident’ when she checked Birkett’s Amazon purchases.

“That discovery made her feel physically sick. It affected her ability to feel safe and comfortable in that house,” said Ms Checa-Dover.

Birkett, who was described as “competent”, “enthusiastic” and “outstanding” by various colleagues in a statement read in mitigation by Sgt Russ Higham, was dismissed without notice from the force following the hearing.