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Appeal lodged in misconduct case of three senior officers

Gwent Chief Superintendent Marc Budden and Chief Inspector Paul Staniforth were dismissed without notice and along with retired Chief Superintendent Mark Warrender – all three were placed on the barred list.

An appeal has been lodged for at least one high-ranking officer involved in a misconduct case around an inappropriate conversation during a staff party.

Chief Superintendent Marc Budden, Chief Inspector Paul Staniforth and retired Chief Superintendent Mark Warrender were all placed on the barred list after gross misconduct was found proven in September.

The incident took place at a party arranged for retiring Gwent Chief Julian Williams in June 2019.

All three officers were found to have had an “inappropriate conversation” with a more junior member of staff and all three were further found to have failed to challenge the behaviour of each other. An allegation of inappropriate touching was additionally found proven for Chief Supt Warrender – he retired days before the hearing.

Meanwhile Marc Budden, who at the time of the incident held the role of T/Assistant Chief Constable, also faced other allegations which were subsequently found proven.

He had failed to disclose a conflict of interest, inappropriately disclosed information relating to both the criminal and misconduct investigation to the victim, provided a dishonest account about his behaviour and further engaged in inappropriate behaviour while on duty.

All three officers were suspended at the time of the incident.

In March 2021, the CPS decided there was “insufficient evidence” to bring any criminal charges, according to the IOPC. 

Now, it has been confirmed that an appeal has been lodged for at least one officer.

A Gwent OPCC spokesperson said: “I can confirm that there has been an appeal and it has been referred to the Police Appeals Tribunal in accordance with the Police Appeal Tribunal Rules.

“The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has a legal, procedural and administrative role in this process and as such we will not be able to comment further.”

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