AN ASSAULT trial against a local police officer stationed at the RCMP detachment ended almost as soon as it began when the officer pleaded guilty May 2.
After Terrace RCMP Const. Robert Hull pleaded guilty, Judge Agnes Krantz adjourned court to fix a date for sentencing.
Hull was charged with assault for punching an intoxicated woman when she was in the police cell block here.
The woman was in custody after being arrested outside a local night club Oct. 17, 2010.
Reports indicated that Hull was trying to calm the intoxicated woman when she allegedly kicked him in the groin and he punched her in the face.
An RCMP Internal Code of Conduct Investigation and a criminal investigation were launched and the findings were forwarded to prosecutors who laid the assault charge against Hull Feb. 23, 2011, said police in a press release at that time.
Staff Sgt. Robert Pritchett, acting Terrace RCMP detachment commander, said last week Hull was initially on administrative duty when the police code of conduct investigation was ongoing but went back to active duty when the investigation was completed in February 2011.
“Constable Hull was found to be in breach of the RCMP Act and did receive discipline for that,” said Pritchett, adding he believed it was a breach for disgraceful conduct.
“Just to point out: we are accountable as police officers for our actions,” said Pritchett.
“Where there is allegations of misconduct, we fully investigate them and if there is evidence to suggest a criminal act has been made, we fully co-operate with Crown Counsel and forward all materials to them for assessment.”
Pritchett couldn’t say specifically how Hull was disciplined.
The range includes a verbal or written reprimand to loss of pay and, in extreme situations, dismissal.
A disciplinary measure takes into account the officer’s history, performance record, if there’s been past discipline and the discipline someone else in the similar situations received.
The incident remains in the officer’s permanent personnel file, Pritchett said.
Hull will be sentenced in court at a later date.