A POLICE officer who told his sergeant she resembled a porn star has been sacked for a second time.

PC Mark Scruby was fired from Sussex Police last year for showing an X-rated image to workmates while on duty and suggesting the woman depicted looked like his line manager Sergeant Isobel Lee.

He even showed her the pictures and made the same comments before sending her a doctored version of the picture on Whatsapp.

The 38-year-old father, who now lives in Crawley, also admitted viewing and sharing an explicit video in which the image appeared while on duty.

His actions took place in the report writing room and the canteen while he was a member of the Mid Sussex Neighbourhood team in Horsham over two days in February last year.

He only apologised for his “repeated” actions when a colleague told him Sgt Lee was upset.

Mr Scruby, who had 14 years’ experience as an officer, was dismissed without notice in May after a misconduct hearing but was allowed to rejoin the force in January after successfully appealing the decision.

He appeared before fresh disciplinary proceedings yesterday where, after he admitted the actions for a second time, another panel decided his punishment.

Despite pleas from his lawyer to allow him to keep his job, chairman Victoria Goodfellow said Mr Scruby’s actions were “very serious” and only dismissal without notice would suffice to protect the force’s reputation and integrity in the face of the public.

His actions had been “sexist” and “derogatory”, Martin Forshaw, who was prosecuting the case for the force, told the hearing.

Sgt Lee, giving evidence, said: “To try and keep face in front of the rest of my team for the rest of the day was really hard.”

She felt “humiliated” by the incident as well as “dirty”, “embarrassed”, and “disgusted” and she found it hard to sleep that night, the panel heard.

She said she felt intimated by PC Scruby when he came into her office uninvited after the incident but saw this as an opportunity to tell him he had been unprofessional and the behaviour was “out of order” and “inappropriate”.

She added: “You have crossed a line. You are very lucky I’m going on a career break soon so this would not go any further.”

On reflection she decided to make a formal complaint the next day and reported the matter to an inspector.

PC Scruby broke down in tears and sobbed uncontrollably as a statement was read out which said there was not a day that went by without him regretting his actions.

Sgt Lee has not returned to Sussex Police since the incident, apart from to attend yesterday’s hearing, and said the ordeal would form her “lasting impression” of the force, the panel heard.

Martin Sapwell, of the force’s professional standards department, said: “We will always investigate any allegations of conduct that do not meet those standards.

"This case highlights our determination not to allow the name of Sussex Police to be tainted, nor bring into disrepute the enormous amount of good work carried out day-to-day by thousands of hard-working officers and staff.”


PC MARK Scruby broke down in tears as he attempted to read a statement at yesterday’s hearing.

As he sobbed uncontrollably his lawyer Colin Banham took over and spoke on his behalf.

The statement told how he was born and bred in Horsham and was the oldest of three brothers.

He had been inspired to join Sussex Police after one of his siblings was badly assaulted in a Horsham park but the culprit was never caught.

He had been working at Argos but decided to become a police officer to protect the public. One of his brothers also followed in his footsteps and is based in Surrey.

The panel heard how his actions had also affected his partner Clare and it was the first thing he thought about when he woke. He said he never meant to upset Sergeant Isobel Lee and it had been a joke which he accepts was poorly judged.

After being sacked he worried about how to provide for his partner and their two-year-old son. He could not sleep or eat properly and lost a stone in weight.

He got a job as a car salesman for Toyota but left to rejoin the force because being a police officer is “all he has ever wanted to do” and being sworn in had been one of the “proudest days of his life”.

His statement said: “I may have the appearance of being a big, burly man but I am a big softy.”


PC Mark Scruby was initially sacked for his actions in May last year.

But he rejoined the force in January after successfully contesting the decision in November.

It is understood the appeal, heard by the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner's office, had to be granted due to a legal technicality but meant he would have to face the allegations again at a fresh hearing once he was reinstated.

While he admitted the misconduct during both hearings yesterday and in May last year, his lawyer Colin Banham contested the grounds of the proceedings, suggesting comments made by Sgt Lee to PC Scruby shortly after the incident amounted to a "promise" in law not to take the matter further. The panel rejected this.