Ex-PSNI chief loses High Court fight with crime commissioner
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.