Ex-Chief Constable Mark Gilmore 'was facing second wave of allegations from police colleagues'
West Yorkshire's former Chief Constable was set to face a 'second wave' of damaging claims about his personal conduct when he decided to retire from policing, a High Court hearing was told today.
More than 50 of his colleagues, including Mark Gilmore's successor as the county's top officer, gave evidence to an investigation into allegations that he made comments of a sexual nature to female staff and asked his subordinates to pick up his wife from an airport, it is claimed.Details of the investigation were heard at the Administrative Court, where Mr Gilmore is taking legal action against the county's police and crime commissioner (PCC) Mark Burns-Williamson over what he says is a failure to make a 'case to answer' decision over his alleged misconduct.
The officer, appointed as West Yorkshire Chief Constable in 2013, was suspended in 2014 and then re-deployed away from the force amid claims of an inappropriate relationship with bosses at a car dealership in his native Northern Ireland.Though prosecutors in Northern Ireland ruled in 2015 he had no criminal case to answer, a later conduct report by Lancashire found he had a case to answer for misconduct.In August Mr Gilmore announced he would retire on full pension, meaning he would not have to face a public misconduct hearing.John Beggs QC, representing Mr Burns-Williamson, said a number of anonymous complaints about Mr Gilmore surfaced over the course of 2014.He said lengthy statements were given by several senior officers, including current Chief Constable Dee Collins, and Assistant Chief Constables, to Lancashire Police in the early part of 2016, relating to alleged improper behaviour.Mr Beggs said this report, carried out separately to the probe into Mr Gilmore's dealings with the car dealership, was some way off being completed by August 2016, but that Mr Burns-Williamson and his chief executive Fraser Sampson had been made aware of the details.He said that the PCC, "far from oppressing Mr Gilmore", was "through kindness ensuring he got the message" that "another report is coming down the track and you need to know what that is about".He added: "Unless all those miscellaneous individuals were making it up, he was behaving in a manner inconsistent with the statutory standards of professional behaviour."Mr Beggs said that the PCC would have appreciated "the enormity of what was now emerging as a second wave".And he said: "From August 2 he had gone within a week, having for two years robustly challenged everything there was to challenge."As reported in The Yorkshire Post in June, the claims against Mr Gilmore, which he strenuously denies, were made via the force’s anonymous whistleblower reporting system.They include that he “treated colleagues inappropriately, swearing and throwing items at staff in rage”, and “made comments of a sexual nature to female staff”.It is also alleged that he “misused police resources, asking staff to drive and wait for him at social events not connected to work, and pick his wife up from the airport”.And he was accused of by-passing the official procurement process “in order to employ a friend into a senior management role”.
The High Court hearing in front of Mr Justice Supperstone is due to take place over two days. Both the PCC and the former Chief Constable were in court today.