A police officer today admitted forcing his way into his ex-wife’s home and shoving her to the ground.
PC Ian Upperton, a traffic cop who works in and around Brighton and Hove, also admitted saying he “could murder her” after being given a non-molestation order a couple of months later.
However at a disciplinary hearing today he denied gross misconduct and said he wanted to keep his job.
The panel heard that the fracas happened after an argument over PC Upperton wanting to store his record deck in the house’s loft in November 2019.
He had left his wife for another woman, and he had arranged to come round and pick up some of his belongings after she had started leaving bags of them in his car or at his parents’ house.
His ex told him he couldn’t store the deck, that he should f*** off, and closed the door in his face. He shoved it open, so forcefully that she was pushed to the ground.
She closed it again, and he forced it open once more.
PC Upperton said: “I pushed the door far too hard on the second occasion which I regret and I’m totally ashamed of my behaviour and the way she fell down.
“When I saw how she fell down when I was shown the video in custody, I couldn’t believe what I had done.
“Once I pushed open the door the second time, my ex stepped back and I have no recollection of what happened. I just zone out, focused on getting into the house.”
PC Upperton said the next thing he knew, his ex-partner was standing in front of him in the kitchen, close to the knife blocks, and he was scared she might grab one and attack him so she pushed him back.
He said the situation had reminded him of an incident where he had been stabbed in the head in 2003 – an attack which he said has affected him for many years since.
The panel was told that while this was happening, one of their adult daughters was nearby and shouting “What the hell do you think you are doing?” and telling him to stop.
PC Upperton continued to go into the house, saying to his ex: “I do what I like, you bitch, I have been nice to you, but because of your behaviour, you’ve got a fight on your hands.”
His daughter called police, and while she was on the phone to them, he told her: “That’s it, you’ve lost me my job now, you are going to regret this, you’ve got a fight on your hands.”
The ex-partner was left with a bruise to her upper left arm and marks and bruises to her right wrist.
In January the following year, she obtained a non-molestation order against him, which was served on him at the same time he was told the criminal investigation was going to be dropped as his ex was retracting her statement.
However, he was still angry about the order – and the professional standards case – and said to the officer who went through it with him: “Bitch she’s
got what she fucking wants.’”
The panel was told: “The officer then said that if he bumped into The Officer’s ex-partner he would murder her. He was asked to repeat this.
“He said he was ‘that angry he would fucking murder her.’
“He also stated that he would murder the Superintendent who had been responsible/involved in the extension of his conditional bail.”
PC Upperton told the panel he had said “could murder her”, not would.
The ex-partner was informed of the remarks, given window locks and a personal alarm and told to call 999 if he attended and not to engage with him.
Addressing the panel, PC Upperton said he was full of remorse for what he had done, and that he and his wife were now considering reconciling.
He said: “I have had 20 months to reflect on what has happened. Being taken away in a marked police car in front of my neighbours.
“Being on bail for two months with conditions of not going near my family. Not being able to see my daughters, dogs at Christmas or elderly neighbours.
“I know these actions have consequences and nearly losing my family has made me determined never repeat these actions . . . [My ex] has always been my rock and will continue to be so.
“I do regret deeply what I have done. I want to continue helping people in my role as a police officer promoting road safety and of course catching criminals on the road.”
PC Upperton has been with Sussex Police since 1990, and appeared in two Peter James novels, Dead Tomorrow and Dead Man’s Grip.
The hearing continues.
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