An Eastbourne police officer has been sacked this for gross misconduct.
Ex-PC Anthony Lusted made an imaginary phone call lasting 13 minutes on October 15 last year telling a woman her children were safe after a welfare check had been carried out because she was concerned for them.
Colleagues overheard the “conversation” on the phone to the mother and were under the impression he had spoken to her especially as he updated the police record saying the call had been made.
But the award winning officer, who had four years service under his belt, was caught out when the woman later phoned the Hammonds Drive police station asking when she would be able to speak with an officer.
A police sergeant looked into it and it emerged Mr Lusted had in fact called his own mobile phone and had an imaginary conversation with himself.
At a misconduct hearing at Sussex Police headquarters in Lewes on Wednesday, allegations that Mr Lusted breached professional standards of professional behaviour in respect of duties and responsibilities and honesty and integrity were found and he was dismissed without notice.
Investigators from the Sussex Police standards and discipline said Mr Lusted had never offered an explanation for his behaviour and resigned after the incident.
Chief Constable Giles York said it was one of those cases where people would ever know what was in the mind of ex-PC Lusted that caused him to act as he did.
“The circumstances of this event are mystifying in as much as he seemed to have done all that was necessary when actually doing none of it and recording his actions inaccurately,” said the police chief.
“I believe his misconduct goes to the heart of undermining what so many in Sussex Police do every day, with compassion and professionalism to keep our communities safe and feeling safe.
“His actions fell well below that expected of an officer with his experience and track record and I believe he failed in his duty to such an extent that my sanction is to dismiss him from Sussex Police.”
CC Giles did say ex-PC Lusted had a positive career history in his four years at the force and had also been awarded a Royal Humane Society award for helping the victim of a road crash survive long enough for her family to be with her at the end and died in a hospital bed rather than at a roadside.