Giff, aged 36, was an officer with SO6. The BBC reported that part of SO6’s duties included guarding Downing Street.
It was alleged that Giff went missing whilst on duty on three occasions in late 2011. Each time, he met Melissa Ramsden, aged 37.
Giff pleaded to three counts of misconduct in a public office. The pair met three times for sex whilst he was on duty.
The pair met in the Peel Centre, at the Metropolitan Police’s training centre in Hendon, north London. This was five miles from Giff’s patrol area. Ms Ramsden reportedly signed in using a false name.
On other occasions, the pair went to Ms Ramsden’s flat in Kilburn, North London. The Court heard that Giff left his radio on whilst the pair were together.
The Court heard that the pair met on other occasions whilst Giff was on duty but during legitimate breaks.
The BBC reported that on one occasion, after his shift, he went to her flat and she posed for photos, including one in which she was naked apart from Giff’s uniform utility belt, containing his firearm and Taser stun gun.
On Giff’s behalf, it was said that “he has paid a high price for his foolish and unprofessional behaviour,”
Giff’s barrister also said that he never missed a check during his motorcycle patrol in the capital.
The Judge said:
“It probably in fact made it quite difficult for you to respond quickly if you were in the middle of making love to her during these periods.
[SO6] is a job of some responsibility and importance.
Of course, most of the time there would not be an emergency.
But, you are there as part of a unit in a designated area, on call ready to respond immediately to what may be an incident of extreme urgency. That is your job.”
Guidance on sentence
The maximum sentence is life imprisonment, but that would never be passed in practice.
The Court of Appeal gave guidance in relation to police officers after reviewing their previous decisions in the case of R v Bohannan  EWCA Crim 2261. There is no guidance about non-police officers, presumably because there are far fewer prosecutions – not enough to draw any conclusions.
Broadly, it should always attract a custodial (prison) sentence. This is both to deter others and to send a message to the public that those that betray the trust put in them by the public will be punished.
Mr Giff’s sentence
The Judge imposed a sentence of 9 months.
Giff, who has served for 15 years, remains a police officer pending disciplinary proceedings.
The Judge made a point of stating that what he was doing whilst he was with Ms Ramsden was of little significance, however the effect – that is, the fact that he would not have been able to respond to an emergency – was not.
In cases where the misconduct is used for personal gain or criminal purposes, this is treated as an aggravating factor. In this case, although Giff can be said to have ‘gained’ from the offence, the fact they were meeting to have sex is not a crucial factor.