A TAUNTON police officer has been sacked for verbally abusing colleagues while he was off duty and for twice failing to turn up to work without a good excuse.

PC James McCall was dismissed without notice after allegations of gross misconduct were proven at a hearing at Avon and Somerset police HQ yesterday (Monday).

McCall was found to have breached standards of authority, respect and courtesy, conduct, and duties and responsibilities.

A panel, led by an independent legally qualified chairman, found the breaches amounted to gross misconduct.

Supt Simon Wilstead, the force's head of professional standards, said: “On two occasions, PC James McCall made abusive and highly offensive comments to colleagues while off-duty.

“The first incident saw him using offensive language towards PCSOs in Taunton town centre in September 2018.

“The second incident was at a social event in Taunton in December 2018 in which he behaved completely inappropriately and used deeply offensive and discriminatory language towards his colleagues.

“All forms of discriminatory behaviour and conduct are completely inexcusable and have no place in the police service.”

PC McCall was also found to have failed to report for duty on two days in September without good reason.