A former police officer who routinely subjected her spouse to a “sustained” campaign of “cruel, coercive, and violent” abuse has been barred from practicing law enforcement again.
Three days after receiving a punishment from magistrates for engaging in coercive and controlling behavior in January, Abigail Barlow resigned from her position as a police constable.
She was handed a 26-week prison sentence, suspended for two years, after pleading guilty at Mold Magistrates Court in December last year.
Now, Greater Manchester Police has held its own misconduct hearing, which found that Barlow, 32, caused “serious psychological impact” to her victim.
Chief Constable Stephen Watson said her actions were “incompatible with the role of police officer” and undermined public trust in the force.
He said Barlow’s behaviour amounted to gross misconduct and she would have been dismissed from the force had she not already quit.
Gareth Madgwick, the solicitor representing GMP, said Barlow, who joined the force in May 2018, “must have known of the serious effect of her behaviour on her partner”, adding: “There has been regular, repeated or sustained behaviour over a period of time.”
Mr Madgwick said Barlow’s actions had left a ‘serious psychological impact’ on her victim, adding: “There is a loss of public trust in policing caused by an officer having been convicted of such a grave offence.”
Exact details of the nature of Barlow’s offending were not disclosed in public at the hearing, which was held on Friday.
Chf Con Watson said: “Ms Barlow was specially trained to target and combat the very behaviours that she perpetrated over a prolonged period of time.
“Her level of knowledge as to the effect of domestic violence was such that her misconduct must be considered to be particularly serious.”
The chief constable ruled that Barlow should be added to the College of Policing barred list, describing her “cruel, coercive and violent behaviour” as “more than a simple lapse of judgement”.
Barlow, of Clifton Street, Milnrow, turned down the opportunity to attend the hearing, be represented by the Police Federation or submit further mitigation to be considered. She declined to comment following the hearing.