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Former inspector handed suspended sentence for sexual assault

Cleveland Police Chief Constable Mark Webster said Lee Morgan would have been dismissed for gross misconduct had he not already resigned from the force.

A former police inspector has been given a suspended sentence for sexually assaulting two colleagues at a drunken Christmas party in December 2021.

Lee Morgan, who was a control room inspector with Cleveland Police, groped two women’s buttocks during a social night out in Yarm, Teesside.

The 45-year-old, who until that point had an unblemished career spanning 23 years, admitted two counts of sexual assault at Teesside Magistrates’ Court last October.

He was handed a six-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, at Newcastle Crown Court today. Morgan has also been ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work.

He resigned from the force in November, and would have been dismissed for gross misconduct had he not done so, according to CC Mark Webster who chaired the disciplinary hearing.

He has also been added to the barred list.

The incident involved two colleagues named as witnesses A and B. Witness A told the couert she felt two or three taps on her buttocks but when she turned around she said no-one was there.

John Harley, prosecuting, said: “She assumed the defendant had been responsible for the touching, he had been behaving in a loud and over-friendly manner.”

She felt annoyed, “like a line had been crossed”, the court was told.

She later saw the defendant with witness B and thought he was being over-familiar with her as well, Mr Harley said. Pub CCTV also showed the former officer squeezing witness B’s buttocks.

Jane Waugh, defending, said Morgan had lost his career in public service during which he had displayed “exemplary conduct”.

Miss Waugh said: “This is truly a fall from grace, this is a man who had an excellent career and was very well thought of. He has now lost his good character.”

She told the court that Morgan had taken measures to control his drinking, and that he felt shame for what he did. He also spent five days in hospital after attempting suicide, Miss Waugh added.

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