A gay officer in the Metropolitan Police was subjected to an onslaught of bullying and abuse from his colleagues because of his sexuality, a tribunal has found.
The tribunal heard that PC Dan Lichters was told by an inspector: "We don't want queers in the dog section."
It also heard how on his very first day, another said: "Oh, you're one of those are you?" referring to him being an openly gay officer.
Mr Litchers also endured vicious rumours being spread about him, including that he had a sexual relationship with his friend Michael Barrymore, and that his puppy was injured because he had been "having gay sex on Hampstead Heath" and neglected it.
The ruling said: "In our judgment that lack of trust, suspicion and dislike of the claimant existed throughout the (MPS' Dog Support) unit.
"It arose (from) or was inextricably linked to his sexual orientation. We were not given any other basis for it.
"There was no evidence that his behaviour within the unit warranted this treatment or mistrust by colleagues or senior officers.
"The incidents were linked by the respondent's attitude towards the claimant - which was one of mistrust, disbelief, dislike and suspicion throughout his time in the unit when the evidence shows he was a hard-working and exemplary officer."
"I have suffered five years of discrimination, victimisation and harassment due to my sexual orientation", Mr Litchers told This is Local London
"I feel completely vindicated by the tribunal who said they believed my account entirely. I wish to carry on serving the public as a police officer, but hope the Metropolitan Police learn from the tribunal's findings."
Mr Lichters' lawyer, Simon Cuthbert, added: "It's extremely disappointing that officers are facing this sort of prejudice and discrimination.
"The Metropolitan Police needs to take this tribunal ruling very seriously and take swift steps to address the failings which have been identified.
"Mr Lichters is an exemplary police officer and suffered years of discrimination and harassment simply because he is gay.
"He was also victimised when he complained about his treatment. The Met needs to ensure people are treated equally and not discriminated against because of their sexual orientation."
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