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Senior officer accessed documents on bullied officer tribunal told

Hearing told senior officer was aware of information which alleged superintendent skipped meetings, ignored emails and sometimes became “Monty Pythonish”.

A former Essex DCC who went on to become a Met DAC is alleged to have improperly asked for and accessed documents about Superintendent Glenn Maleary, whom the senior officer was found to have sworn at, shortly before a disciplinary hearing into allegations of  bullying against him held in 2018, a tribunal has heard. 

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Matthew Horne threw a stress ball at a colleague, pushed them against a desk and swore at another officer while working as Deputy Chief Constable of Essex Police.

He was found to have breached force standards on three occasions between 2015 and 2016 but was allowed to keep his job and later became Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

He is also said to have failed to “promptly and appropriately” report, challenge or take action against David Clark, who passed him the information while working as a temporary commander at City of London Police.

The hearing at Thames Valley Police headquarters in Oxford heard how Mr Horne was aware of information which alleged Mr Maleary skipped meetings, ignored emails and to have sometimes become “Monty Pythonish”.

Mr Maleary was also said to have sometimes become “abusive and aggressive” and used the F-word when challenged, the tribunal heard.

The documents Mr Horne was passed related to a fraud investigation and staffing issues, the hearing was told.

Mr Clark was placed on the police barred list after a disciplinary panel found he passed on the information.

During cross-examination on Thursday, the senior officer admitted requesting and receiving the information but claimed he had a proper purpose in doing so.

He also said he believed he could properly do so following legal advice and that any information requested would have been held with City of London Police’s professional standards department.

Adrian Keeling KC, representing the Metropolitan Police, told him: “You did not have a proper policing purpose to investigate your own misconduct, did you?”

He replied: “I genuinely believed the process in 2018, when it came to accessing the information on the basis of advice, that that information would be relevant.

“It was not for my benefit outwith that process. It was not for some ulterior motive, it was for the hearing.”

The barrister later asked: “You thought all the information David Clark had was already with professional standards?”

The officer replied: “Yes. It would have been accessible to an inquiry or, if not directly with professional standards, through a reasonable line of inquiry with them.”

He told the hearing he initially believed any information must only be disclosed through the formal process.

That never took place and he had a conference with lawyers about next steps just before the hearing.

He had described requesting the information as “Machiavellian” and expressed discomfort shortly before asking for it, the panel heard.

Mr Keeling asked: “What persuaded you that was wrong and that you should go to Mr Clark directly yourself?”

He replied: “I then understood, at the end of that conference, that I was the one that would speak to Mr Clark.

“My understanding when I left that conference was that it was everyone had agreed and it was clearly appropriate for me to approach David Clark because we had not been supplied that information through the disclosure process.”

The hearing was told that Mr Clark accessed the documents via his work email and that “at some stage” the protective markings on them had been removed.

Mr Clark then emailed them from his work address to his personal one before sending them to himself on WhatsApp and forwarding the WhatsApp message to Mr Horne.

The Crown Prosecution Service did not prosecute Mr Horne over the claims following a two-year investigation.

He formally denied breaching force standards for integrity, discreditable conduct, challenging or reporting improper conduct and confidentiality before his cross-examination began.

The hearing continues.

John Beggs KC, who represented Mr Horne in the bullying matter, is set to give evidence on Friday.

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