Metropolitan Police fights decision to reinstate senior officer convicted over child abuse video | UK News

Metropolitan Police fights decision to reinstate senior officer convicted over child abuse video | UK News

The Metropolitan Police has launched a legal battle after a senior police officer convicted of possessing a child abuse video was allowed to return to work.

Superintendent Novlett Robyn Williams won a tribunal appeal earlier this year against the decision to dismiss her and was reinstated as a police officer.

But the Met has now applied for a judicial review and believes the panel that overturned her sacking failed to properly assess the seriousness of her conviction.

A highly decorated officer on the London force, she was commended for her work after the Grenfell disaster and was also awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for distinguished service in 2003.

She was sentenced to 200 hours’ community service for possession of an indecent image in November 2019.

Her trial heard how she was sent a child abuse video via WhatsApp from her older sister Jennifer Hodge, 57, to investigate the footage.

However, Williams failed to report the clip, and although the court accepted she had not viewed the video, the jury was not convinced she was unaware of it being on her phone.

More on Metropolitan Police

Metropolitan Police Superintendent Novlett Robyn Williams (centre) arrives at the Old Bailey in London, where she will be sentenced for possession of an indecent video of a child.
Image:
Williams (centre) arriving at the Old Bailey in London during her trial

After a special disciplinary hearing in March 2020 found her conviction amounted to gross misconduct, Williams was sacked with immediate effect from her job.

But the Police Appeals Tribunal (PAT) later decided the decision was wrong and that she should have received a final written warning instead.

In February, Williams had her appeal against her criminal conviction refused by the Court of Appeal.

The Met is seeking judicial reviews of two cases where sackings were overturned by the PAT, with the details of the second unknown.

Both Williams and the individual involved in the second case have been reinstated as police officers while legal proceedings continue.

A Met spokesman said: “In both cases, the Met believes there was a failure by the PAT to make a proper assessment of the seriousness of the convictions.

“The Met also finds the duty to reinstate, as a result of the decisions of the PAT, is also in potential conflict with vetting processes.”

He continued: “In challenging the legal principles leading to the PAT’s decisions, the Met is seeking to ensure a lawful and consistent approach to misconduct hearings in the future, bearing in mind there is a serious issue about how disciplinary panels and PAT’s approach criminal convictions.

“These PAT rulings currently leave a lack of clarity for disciplinary panels in determining the outcome of such conduct cases and this has an associated impact on public confidence.”



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