B.C. Mountie fired for showing sexually explicit photos of himself to victim wins appeal | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C. Mountie fired for showing sexually explicit photos of himself to victim wins appeal

A B.C. RCMP officer who was fired after he showed the victim in a domestic abuse case a sexually explicit photo of himself, has won an appeal and been reinstated while he waits for a second hearing.

Surrey RCMP Const. Andrew Scott Hedderson was fired in December 2018 after he showed the victim of a domestic assault what he described as "essentially a dick pic" and sent the woman hundreds of sexually explicit texts.

The details are laid out in a recently published Sept. 8, 2021 RCMP Conduct Board decision.

According to the decision, in 2017 Const. Hedderson attended the woman's home after she had been assaulted by her boyfriend in a Safeway parking lot in Surrey the day before.

The police officer had asked the woman if she had any photos of her injuries and she showed him a photo but she did not realize it also showed her breasts.

The woman said she was embarrassed and Const. Hedderson said not to worry but that he felt he had to show her something in return.

The woman testified that Const. Hedderson pulled out his phone and showed her "a picture of his penis in full uniform."

Const. Hedderson admitted he showed her a picture of him wearing "very tight boxer shorts" that was "essentially" a dick pic.

"You could pretty much see a whole lot of everything," he testified.

Over the next couple of days Const. Hedderson and the woman engaged 323 text messages, many of which were sexual in nature.

Const. Hedderson admitted he started sending the text messages which were sexually explicit and included "commentary about the size of his penis."

During a later court appearance, the woman told Crown prosecutors about the texts which led to the Crown withdrawing a charge laid against the boyfriend for breaching a release order.

The decision does not say whether the boyfriend was ever convicted of assaulting the woman.

READ MORE: Drunk B.C. RCMP officer who passed out in drive-thru keeps job

During the initial hearing Const. Hedderson admitted it was a "big mistake" and said he'd gone completely "off the rails."

Following an RCMP Conduct Board hearing Const. Hedderson was fined 15 days' pay and fired from the police force.

"A reasonable person would find the actions of (Const. Hedderson) were appalling, if not outright disturbing, given the context in which he was dealing with (the woman)," the Conduct Board said in the decision. "Any reasonable person aware of the circumstances relating to the photograph or text messages would conclude that they were completely inappropriate, unprofessional and brought discredit not only upon (Const. Hedderson) but the RCMP."

However, after he was fired the constable then launched an appeal saying the conduct hearing lacked procedural fairness. The police officer also argued the punishment was too harsh.

Const. Hedderson argued the Conduct Board was biased in its decision-making process, and did not hold an in-person hearing.

Const. Hedderson also argued the Conduct Board incorrectly determined that the woman was a vulnerable person, which meant she did not have to testify.

Last year, the RCMP External Review Committee agreed.

The Review Committee said the Conduct Board breached Const. Hedderson's right to an in-person hearing and granted the officer's appeal.

The RCMP External Review Committee ordered the RCMP to reinstate Const. Hedderson with full pay and benefits backdated to when he was fired in December 2018.

The Conduct Board said a date for the second hearing has yet to be confirmed.

READ MORE: 'Discrimination against white females:' RCMP officer fined after verbally abusing border officer

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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