A RETAINED firefighter allegedly told the wife of a police officer he could have her “buried on the moors” when he discovered their affair was public knowledge, a police misconduct panel heard.

Robert Billings had begun an affair with Kath Parnell after he carried out jobs at their family home.

The second day of a hearing into the conduct of her husband, PC Christopher Parnell, heard how Mr Billings had visited his home to confront Mrs Parnell in front of one of their children, shortly after implying he could have her killed.

The hearing, at North Yorkshire Police’s headquarters in Northallerton, had heard earlier that Mr Billings, an odd jobs man and retained firefighter, had begun the affair with Mrs Parnell in July last year.

The Harrogate-based police officer learnt about the affair several weeks later from another woman in the town. The woman also told him that Mr Billings had lost his temper and made a threat against his wife to another woman in Boroughbridge.   

The hearing heard claims that Mr Billings told the woman: “Kath doesn’t know who she is dealing with. I’m from Leeds. I can pay £1,500 and have her buried on the moors.”

Mr Billings then went to the Parnell's family home but the couple’s daughter answered the door and he began swearing at Mrs Parnell in front of the girl.

The panel heard that three days after hearing the news, Mr Billings had phoned the police officer to tell him he was sorry for what had happened and invited him to speak privately with him. He also told him he had seen him driving down his street and felt intimidated.

Later that day PC Parnell went to Mr Billings' home in Boroughbridge to speak with him and asked to see his phone and any text messages he had sent to his wife. Mr Billings later reported the visit to North Yorkshire Police, claiming he had felt threatened.

PC Parnell had recorded his conversation with Mr Billings.

In the recording, which was played to the panel, Mr Billings told the officer he had had sex with the officer’s wife in the carpark of Morrisons supermarket, telling him: “I have never done it before and I will never do it again. It was in Morrisons carpark. It was disgusting. I will never do it again.”

Edward Pleeth, representing North Yorkshire Police, asked PC Parnell if at any time he decided before visiting Robert Billings he was going to “give him a good hiding”.

“Not at all,” replied the police officer.

“I didn’t want any improper allegations potentially made against me.”

He added: “I certainly wouldn’t have gone there with the intention he has suggested.”

He said the only reason he went there was because he was concerned for his daughters and the fact that Mr Billings had been to his house.

Mr Pleeth asked PC Parnell if Mr Billings felt intimidated by his visit because he was using his physical presence to intimidate him.

Questioning PC Parnell, he said: “In so far as Mr Billlings thought that you wanted to beat him up, he was right in believing that?”

PC Parnell replied: “I was basically telling him he didn’t need to worry – how ridiculous that would be.”

The police officer added he “wasn’t that kind of person”, saying in addition to using restraint and not wanting to lose his job, he wasn’t violent and had never been in a fight.

Mr Pleeth addressed the panel, telling them the officer must have known his presence would be intimidating, saying: “He must have understood that a wronged husband turning up at the address of the man who had recently found out he had had a relationship and slept with his wife was going to be perceived in the circumstances as threatening.”

PC Parnell’s barrister, Michael Rawlinson, said the transcript of the officer’s conversation with Mr Billings showed there was no threatening language or demands made, or any sounds from Mr Billings to indicate he was unwilling to hand his phone over to the police officer or not let him in his home.

The barrister told the panel that if the allegations from Mr Billings against PC Parnell were upheld, “no serving police officer would ever be able to express his displeasure”.

He added: “They would never be able to express displeasure to somebody who had committed a great moral wrong against them. It’s wildly inappropriate to think any member of the public would think any police force had been discredited if they know and realised what had occurred here.

“There’s no evidence Mr Billings at the time was actually fearful because the recordings show this case for what it is; a grown-up conversation between two grown-ups about a very personal and unpleasant and sordid situation. It’s nothing further than that.

“If anybody was trying to be less than frank about it, it’s not PC Parnell.”

He told the panel there were inconsistencies with Mr Billings’ account of what took place between himself and the police officer and the recording of their meeting.

PC Parnell is accused of breaching standards of professional behaviour and conduct.

He is also accused of unlawfully accessing the police NICHE recording system and failing to declare a business interest.

The hearing continues.