A POLICE officer has been sacked for grooming a suicidal teenager who she had talked down from a bridge.

PC Jennifer Regan, a response officer based at Warrington Police Station, has been dismissed from her role with Cheshire Police without after a panel found her to be guilty of gross misconduct.

The panel heard that PC Regan emailed and texted a vulnerable 19-year-old woman she had met through her work 'in a manner that was wholly inappropriate' and invited her to spend the night at her flat.

First contact between the pair came in January 2018, when the teen was detained by police under the Mental Health Act and taken to Warrington Hospital and overdosing on paracetamol.

Later in the month, the teenager – who suffers from a personality disorder and has a 'lengthy history' of mental health issues – was reported missing from Hollins Park Hospital and was threatening to jump off a bridge.

Warrington Guardian:

Hollins Park Hospital

After helping to talk her down from the bridge, the pair exchanged email addresses.

A third meeting came in April 2018, when the teen attended Warrington Hospital's A&E department.

Six days later, 38-year-old PC Regan – who joined the force as a PCSO in 2009 before becoming a police officer in 2015 – sent an email from her work address offering to meet 'for a chat and a brew'.

Around a month afterwards, the policewoman began contacting her with her personal email address and exchanged text messages over the following two weeks.

In these texts, PC Regan said: "I'd like to keep in touch with you because I think you're a great person and I reckon you could make me smile a lot.

"The job introduced us, but it's you that made me want to say hi outside of that.

"I also think you're pretty amazing by the way.

"All I'm saying is, I think you're a great person and I'm glad we met."

On Tuesday, July 17 2018, PC Regan sent the teen a text saying: "If you're feeling adventurous you could come and see me?"

She then offered to pay for a taxi for the woman to make the trip from Warrington to her flat in Manchester, and to drive her back home the following morning.

At around 7pm, the teenager set off in the taxi to meet with PC Regan.

But at 9.30pm, she began to send a series of texts saying she 'felt uncomfortable and wanted to leave'.

She then left the flat, alleging that PC Regan had made sexual comments.

The following day, the officer texted the teen saying: "Hope I didn't upset you at all last night."

PC Regan admitted sending the messages and inviting the woman to her flat, but denied she had made the sexual comments or acted inappropriately.

Cheshire Police has declined to comment as PC Regan is appealing the panel's decision.

The panel's findings said: "We found that the misconduct was very serious because it undermined the public’s trust in the police.

"We found that PC Regan still did not understand or appreciate the seriousness of what she had done, nor the importance of maintaining a clear distinction between professional and personal interests.

"The misconduct was aggravated by the teenager's vulnerability.

"She is a fragile young woman, and the potential harm to her was great – she is unstable, and it takes very little to push her too far.

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"We acknowledge PC Regan's service as a police officer and as a PCSO, but the inevitable outcome was she should be dismissed without notice."