DOZENS of derogatory and offensive comments made by a Hampshire Constabulary unit does not show a “true view” of the officers involved, a misconduct hearing has been told.

Former PC Craig Bannerman is one of six officers from the Serious and Organised Crime Unit (North) subject of gross misconduct charges after covert recordings caught them making homophobic, sexist and racist remarks over a 24-day period in 2018.

A tribunal was told that in one incident the squad were trying to turn off a phone that had continued to ring and a female officer, Officer P, mentioned about taking the batteries out, to which Mr Bannerman, who resigned from the force following his suspension, said: “You don’t take the batteries out anymore sweetheart”.

Jason Beer QC, on behalf of the constabulary, claims that Mr Bannerman was being patronising and sexist, but giving evidence today (Wednesday), he said: “When I’m using sweetheart I am using it almost in a semi affectionate, playful manner.”

In the recording he added: “Well I didn’t call her sweet tits or sugar tits”, saying in evidence that the phrase was said because it showed he could have called her something that could be regarded as derogatory.

On another occasion when asked to travel to Southampton to help with a rape investigation, Mr Bannerman is heard saying: “I’m f*****g aggro right now. I’m going to punch the first person to walk in the door in the face.”

Mr Bannerman told the hearing he made the commented because he was frustrated.

“I had a lot of work at that stage – piled high. I certainly didn’t ever think that my DI would ever think I would be aggressive,” he said.

The father-of-four is also alleged to have failed to challenge other officers when they made inappropriate comments such as “angry beaver” and “fanny”, but the panel has learnt that Mr Bannerman suffers from hearing difficulties and now wearing hearing aids in both ears.

Speaking about his hearing became damage, Mr Bannerman, born in South Africa, said: “It was in various gun battles, shooting scenarios – causing damage inside the ear.

“My hearing is muffled, noise without my hearing aids is muffled. I’ve heard to learn over the years to look at somebody’s mouth.”

It is his case that he did not hear much of the allegations as he was not wearing hearing aids at that stage.

Earlier in the three-week proceedings the unit, based in Basingstoke, was called “toxic” which has been argued by Mr Bannerman as “not a true view” as “we as police officers, as husbands, as mates. We are not toxic I know.”

He continued: “Hindsight is a wonderful thing. A few moments, some parts were outrageous comments, joking about, that shouldn’t have been going on and most certainly should have been challenged.

“It is a little more complex when you work to close to people that you get to know them on a personal level. You build those relationships that are strong bonds.”

The hearing, which is taking place at Hampshire police’s headquarters in Eastleigh, continues.