Israel Embassy policeman who abandoned post gets nine months

A police officer who admitted abandoning his duties protecting the Israeli Embassy in London has been sentenced to nine months in prison.

Ricci Giff, 38, who is married with two children, was a Diplomatic Protection Officer. He admitted leaving patrol areas on three occasions, including when he should have been guarding the Israeli Embassy, in order to conduct an affair with the PR manager of the Israel Government Tourist Office, Melissa Ramsden.

Prosecutor Claire Howell said: "He was fully armed and supposed to be part of a high-profile unit guarding high-profile targets.

"He, more than anyone else, would have appreciated the potentially catastrophic results if anything had happened and there was a delay in the response time."

Although Giff said he had left his radio on in case of emergency, the judge said: "It probably in fact made it quite difficult for you to respond quickly if you were in the middle of making love to her during these periods.”

Giff’s lawyer said that the police officer had apologised to his wife and his colleagues for letting them down.

Last updated: 3:57pm, March 18 2013