A BODYBUILDING police officer has been sacked after using steroids.
Former Sunderland custody sergeant Darren Towers, 41, has been dismissed from Northumbria Police for gross misconduct after admitting to using the Class C drug.
Towers, of Jarrow, was arrested last year and charged with conspiracy to supply steroids after a stash of drugs was found at his home.
However, he was cleared of drug dealing after a trial at Newcastle Crown Court.
But the force conducted its own misconduct proceedings against Towers, despite him being cleared.
His dismissal comes after a lengthy probe by the force’s counter-corruption unit into his behaviour outside the workplace.
A police spokesman said: “Northumbria Police expects that officers and staff adhere to the highest possible standards of professional conduct.
“Where those standards fall below the required level, we always take robust action.
“Following the court case, the evidence was reviewed and a decision was taken that there was still a case to answer for gross misconduct.
“An internal investigation was carried out and a hearing took place from July 11 to July 13. The outcome in this case was a finding of gross misconduct and Towers has been dismissed from the force with immediate effect.”
He had been suspended from duty since his arrest in June last year.
He admitted using steroids but insisted they were for personal use, which is legal.
During his trial, he said he began to use them as a form of contraceptive in the 1990s. He stopped when he and his wife wanted to start a family.
He admitted that he started using them again when he began training for bodybuilding competitions in 2006.