A GWENT police sergeant has been sacked after being found to have committed gross misconduct for leaving his post to meet up with his partner.

In a two day public hearing inquiry, sergeant Lee Stephens, of Bargoed Police Station, admitted to four allegations of misconduct but said he did not believe any of these to be gross misconduct.

The allegations were that in 12 out of 15 shifts worked between September 22, 2017 and October 15, 2017, Stephens left his duties without authorisation in order to spent time with his partner.

The hearing heard that aggravating factors included the sergeant using a marked police car and in uniform.

However, an independent panel found Stephens had committed gross misconduct on two allegations concluding that Stephens was "dishonest" and had a "lack of integrity".

In giving the verdict, the chairman of the panel Peter Jones said the circumstances of Stephens’ disappearances meant that “confidence could not be maintained” in his ability to serve as a police officer.

Mr Jones added that the lack of integrity was so serious that “mitigation cannot be justified."

Prosecuting officer on behalf of Gwent Police Barnabas Branston said: “He was there to supervise and do everything that supervision involves. He was there to set an example. This is a strong aggravating factor.

“He has epically failed in his role as a police officer. He was there to provide support.”

However, defending officer Tim Evans stated that Stephens was remorseful over his actions and read statements from police colleagues describing the sergeant as “professional and hard-working”.

Another colleague stated that Stephens “had a willingness to help when other people needed him to fill in”.

However the officer was dismissed without notice.

Speaking about Stephens’ actions, Mr Branston said: “It was not a one-off, it was not an emergency. If it was a one-off it could have been justified. If a one-off emergency happened that is different, that is part of life.

“He pulled the wool over everyone's eyes because he could. This is so serious that it is gross misconduct. It is completely careless.

“He does not have integrity whatsoever because he does what he wants.”

Stephens has 10 working days to make an appeal against the outcome of the hearing.