A NORTH Yorkshire police officer visited the home of a retained fire officer who had had an affair with his wife, a misconduct hearing heard today.

PC Christopher Parnell, stationed at Harrogate Police Station, is accused of breaching standards of professional behaviour and conduct.

At a misconduct hearing at North Yorkshire Police headquarters in Northallerton, a three-person panel, led by chairman Tom Mitchell, heard that in July last year PC Parnell’s wife began an affair with a Robert Billings.

Mr Billings was a retained firefighter with North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service who had carried out odd jobs around their family home in Boroughbridge and had known the family for about 12 years.

Several weeks after the affair started, Robert Billings discovered PC Parnell’s wife had confided in a friend at her local gym about the affair and it had become local knowledge in Boroughbridge.

On August 11 the retained fire officer went to the home of PC Parnell and his wife. The hearing was told the couple’s daughter answered the door and he asked to speak to her mother.

He then told Kath Parnell that the public knowledge of their affair had “ruined his life” and he would have to go and confess the affair to his girlfriend.

He told the panel: “I asked if Chris Parnell knew and she said, “no”, and asked me to cover it up by saying it was a lie and that she wanted attention. I said, “no, it’s come out now I wanted to tell my partner the truth.”

The next morning, he saw PC Parnell drive down his street at about 5.50am after he had returned home after taking the dog for a walk and said he felt “worried and scared”.

Later, Robert Billings rang PC Parnell and left him a voicemail, saying he was sorry for what had happened and “didn’t want to cause any harm” and invited him to speak privately with him. He also told him in the message he felt intimidated by seeing him driving along his street.

The following day PC Parnell turned up at Robert Billings home. Robert Billings told the panel that PC Parnell had been wearing a civilian shirt and trousers with a lanyard around his neck. He said his mannerisms were “anxious” and “angry”.

He told the panel PC Parnell demanded to come into his home and said he kept reassuring him he wasn’t going to do anything, as he didn’t want to jeopardise his job in the police force, but said “I still didn’t like his mannerisms towards me. They were very aggressive and abrupt.”

He said PC Parnell asked for him for his phone to look through his messages, he unlocked the phone for him and the police officer took it from his hand.

He said: “I was scared. I didn’t know what the outcome of that conversation would be.”

He told the panel that even though the police officer kept reassuring him he wasn’t going to “get aggressive”, he didn’t know if he would hit him.

PC Parnell’s barrister, Michael Rawlinson, questioned the witness over his claim that he didn’t know why PC Parnell had gone to his home.

He said: “Had you not gone around to PC Parnell’s house, he would never have gone around to yours, isn’t that fair? Given that you left him a voice message saying you wanted to talk about matters with him and you had been round his house it’s hardly suspicious he went to your house. It’s not outlandish given what had occurred. He had been married 16 years or thereabouts. At the end of the day he was very upset and embarrassed about what had happened to him and they were very understandable emotions.”

He also put to Mr Billings, that his description that the police officer came to his door and ordered him into his house was incorrect, as a recording the police officer took of the conversation showed when he answered his door to the police officer, he said: “Hello mate, how are you?” and asked if they could have a quick chat.

He also put to Mr Billings that he voluntarily opened his mobile phone for the police officer so he could see the messages between Mr Billings and his wife and then explained how to access them.

The hearing is expected to last three days.