Ex-PSNI chief loses High Court fight with crime com­mis­sioner

Belfast Telegraph - - NEWS - BY BRIAN FARMER

A RE­TIRED po­lice chief from North­ern Ire­land who had de­nied a se­ries of al­le­ga­tions about his be­hav­iour has lost a High Court fight with a po­lice and crime com­mis­sioner.

Mark Gil­more, who be­came chief con­sta­ble of West York­shire in 2013, com­plained that West York­shire po­lice com­mis­sioner Mark Burns-Wil­liamson had un­fairly failed to de­cide whether he had a “case to an­swer’’ af­ter mis­con­duct al­le­ga­tions were made.

Mr Gil­more, born in 1964 and from the Shankill Road area of Belfast, joined the RUC in 1983 and worked in Belfast and Dun­gan­non. He be­came PSNI District Com­man­der in Lis­burn be­fore tak­ing up the post in York­shire.

He asked a judge to order Mr Burns-Wil­liamson to “make a case-to-an­swer de­ci­sion’’. But Mr Jus­tice Sup­per­stone, who re­cently an­a­lysed ri­val ar­gu­ments at a High Court trial in London, dis­missed his ap­pli­ca­tion. He said Mr Burns-Wil­liamson was “un­der no obli­ga­tion to make a case-toan­swer de­ter­mi­na­tion”.

In a writ­ten rul­ing, the judge spelled out a se­ries of al­le­ga­tions made against Mr Gil­more when he was head­ing the West York­shire force.

Mr Gil­more had been ac­cused of hav­ing an “in­ap­pro­pri­ate re­la­tion­ship” with bosses at a car deal­er­ship; us­ing that re­la­tion­ship to “ben­e­fit per­son­ally via the pur­chase of a VW Golf for his son”; treat­ing col­leagues “in­ap­pro­pri­ately”; mak­ing “com­ments of a sex­ual na­ture to fe­male staff ”; mis­us­ing po­lice re­sources and by­pass­ing an “of­fi­cial pro­cure­ment process” in order to “em­ploy a friend in a se­nior man­age­ment role”. He de­nied the al­le­ga­tions.

The judge said Mr Gil­more had said he was re­tir­ing in Au­gust 2016, about two weeks af­ter Mr Burns-Wil­liamson was pre­sented with a re­port into the car deal­er­ship al­le­ga­tions.

Mr Burns-Wil­liamson had said he was “con­tem­plat­ing” mak­ing a de­ci­sion that Mr Gil­more had a “gross mis­con­duct case to an­swer” in re­la­tion to the car deal­er­ship al­le­ga­tions. How­ever, Mr Gil­more re­tired be­fore any for­mal an­nounce­ment.

The judge con­cluded that Mr Burns-Wil­liamson was not un­der an obli­ga­tion to make a “case-toan­swer de­ter­mi­na­tion”.

Jeremy John­son QC, who rep­re­sented Mr Gil­more, had told the judge that a po­lice watch­dog and prose­cu­tors found “no ev­i­dence of wrong­do­ing’’ fol­low­ing sep­a­rate in­quiries.

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