A POLICE officer allegedly had sex in the back of his police car several times while on duty, a misconduct panel heard.

The actions of former Det Insp Paul Dibell were at the centre of an Essex Police misconduct hearing at Chelmsford Civic Centre on Tuesday.

A panel heard evidence from a female witness, whose identity is protected by an anonymity order, who claimed to have had sex with Mr Dibell in the back of an unmarked police car while he “was on duty or on call” at least twice.

The witness was also questioned about 17 allegations of harassment against her, including several unwanted attempts to communicate with her and face-to-face interactions around Mersea Island, where the pair both lived separately.

Brentwood Live: Hearing - the allegations were heard at Chelmsford Civic Centre on TuesdayHearing - the allegations were heard at Chelmsford Civic Centre on Tuesday (Image: Richard Kelly)

She also claimed to have had sex with the former police officer in his office at Essex Police’s headquarters in Chelmsford between five and ten times – sometimes making use of police-issued handcuffs.

Mr Dibell, who did not attend the hearing, has previously refuted claims he’d had sex on police premises or in his work car but acknowledged the witness, referred to by the panel as Miss A, had visited his office just once to deliver a sandwich.

He admitted taking her to Clacton police station to visit a memorial to his brother PC Ian Dibell, who was killed trying to stop a gunman in 2012, and to Colchester police station to go to the toilet.

Miss A confirmed while she had been in the building to deliver the lunch, she had later been inside what Mr Dibell had told her was his personal office, where she recalled seeing a photo of him shaking hands with ex-Prime Minister Theresa May on the wall, on several occasions late at night.

'I was looking over my shoulder'

In 2017 a friend of Miss A reported his alleged harassing behaviour to the police.

In a statement at the time, she said: “I have got to the point where my health and wellbeing is being affected.

“I hadn’t realised I was doing it but I’d check over my shoulder when I was out and about in case he was approaching me.”

She told the panel: “I sent a message saying if he contacted me anymore I’d contact the police, and he didn’t message me.”

Brentwood Live: Force - allegations against former Det Insp Paul Dibell were heard by a misconduct panelForce - allegations against former Det Insp Paul Dibell were heard by a misconduct panel (Image: Essex Police)

About a year went by without any contact until Mr Dibell wrote the woman a letter saying he wouldn’t contact her again, but contact was eventually re-established.

“He always seemed to know where I was,” she explained. “Wherever I was, he would turn up. He’d put cards and letters on my windscreen where I worked.

“I said to him ‘this is it, we can’t continue like this’, and he said he wasn’t going to take no for an answer and that I needed to be more patient with him, so my friend showed me how to block him.”

But he allegedly continued to contact Miss A by other means, including turning up at locations she was visiting on Mersea Island and sending Facebook friend requests to her friend and son.

Mr Dibell hasn’t denied the contact but refutes it was unwanted and uninvited, previously saying in a criminal interview he would’ve stopped contacting the woman if he’d been asked.

He denies a further allegation of using offensive, racially aggravated language.

The long list of allegations came to light when the force’s counter-corruption unit contacted Miss A after spotting four text messages sent to her from his work phone.

The panel will meet again on Wednesday morning to consider the evidence heard.