A FORMER Essex Police detective accused of having sex in an unmarked police car while on duty would've lost his job if he hadn't retired, a misconduct panel has ruled.

Former Det Insp Paul Dibell, who retired from Essex Police earlier this year, had been accused of harassment, having sex on police premises and in his work car, and using offensive, racially aggravated language.

Following a misconduct hearing earlier this week, today a misconduct panel said all allegations against Mr Dibell had been proven on the balance of probabilities, amounting to gross misconduct.

The panel heard evidence from a female witness, who cannot be named, at a hearing at Chelmsford Civic Centre on Tuesday.

Brentwood Live: Recognition - Paul Dibell previously received a bravery award in 2013 from then Home Secretary Theresa MayRecognition - Paul Dibell previously received a bravery award in 2013 from then Home Secretary Theresa May (Image: Newsquest archive)

What were the allegations against Paul Dibell?

Panel chairman David Tyme said the witness, referred to as Miss A, had provided “reliable and credible” evidence.

She had been questioned about 17 incidents of harassment towards her, including several attempts to contact her using WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, and unwanted face-to-face interactions in West Mersea.

Mr Dibell, who lived on Mersea Island at the time of the incidents, did not attend the hearing and did not have any legal or Police Federation representation.

He previously denied having sex at police premises or in a police car and using racist language. He did not deny contacting Miss A but refuted the contact was unwanted.

Brentwood Live: Force - Paul Dibell was a detective inspector for Essex PoliceForce - Paul Dibell was a detective inspector for Essex Police (Image: Archant)

George Thomas, legal counsel for the appropriate authority, said Mr Dibell was “fully culpable for his actions” and that he had not taken accountability for what he had done.

“He ought to have been able to see in his own behaviour, it was the kind of behaviour that would be investigated by him and his teams for harassment,” he explained.

The former officer joined the Met in 1997 before transferring to Essex Police in 2000, receiving a promotion to inspector five years later.

His postings since then include time in the force’s domestic abuse unit and a temporary promotion to detective chief inspector in Essex Police’s professional standards department.

His brother, PC Ian Dibell, was shot and killed in 2012 when he tried to stop a gunman in Clacton while he was off duty.