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Fedster

Misconduct investigation was 'unfair' says Cheshire chief

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Fedster

Allegations against the police chief were laid out in a 21-page document published earlier this year.

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An investigation into a police chief constable accused of bullying staff was "perverse, unreasonable and unfair", it has been claimed at his misconduct hearing.

Lawyers for Simon Byrne, who was suspended from Cheshire Constabulary last August, applied for the allegations of gross misconduct to be dismissed at the hearing at Warrington Town Hall on Monday.

Staff have accused Mr Byrne of "bullying" and "humiliating" them and he is alleged to have "exhibited volatile, unpredictable and offensive behaviour" between May 2014 and March 2017.

Gerry Boyle QC, representing Mr Byrne, said the former Metropolitan Police officer had never been informed he was under investigation for gross misconduct.

He said: "In this case Mr (David) Keane, the police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, has presided over an investigation into the chief constable which has been littered with procedural errors and irregularities and which has been so unfair to the chief constable that not only would it be unconscionable to proceed with this hearing but doing so would bring the operation of police misconduct hearings across the country into disrepute and it would be grossly unfair."

He said Mr Byrne was never interviewed in relation to any allegation and the decision to refer him to the gross misconduct hearing was made based on witness statements and documents which had not been shared with him in advance.

He added: "Indeed in the current climate, when disclosures by police and the Crown Prosecution Service have been a matter of significant public concern, it's ironic in the extreme that Mr Keane presided over an investigation in which a decision was made to deliberately withhold from the chief constable every single exhibit in this case.

"The approach to this case by the commissioner has been perverse, unreasonable and unfair and it's for those reasons we submit on behalf of the chief constable that this hearing should be permitted to go no further."

Giving evidence to the hearing, Mr Keane said: "I've always wanted to do things in a very fair, very open and very considerate manner."

The court heard the PCC received a complaint from the Police Federation about Mr Byrne in October 2016.

Mr Keane said at the time he had been in post less than five months and had never dealt with a similar situation before.

He said: "I was quite taken aback by it, to be honest."

John Beggs QC, representing the police and crime commissioner's office, said the application to dismiss the allegations was resisted.

At the start of the hearing, he said: "Mr Byrne has denied all allegations, denied gross misconduct, denied misconduct, so there is no meeting of minds, so to speak, on the allegations."

The misconduct hearing is listed to last for nine days.

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HazRat

To be fair if I was facing being kicked out of the job with a rap sheet that long I’d go in there with big kahunas and effectively accuse all those members of staff of lying and see where it goes.  Nothing to lose.

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Zulu 22

Mr Keane has not got on with Mr Byrne since day one. Byrne had no problems with the previous PCC. If you go by the article, "How can you be disciplined when no evidence is presented to you or given a chance to defend yourself in an interview"?

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cookyy2k

Seems like a case of a pcc trying to use the police misconduct system with very little idea of how it works.

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BlueBob
On 16 April 2018 at 19:32, HazRat said:

To be fair if I was facing being kicked out of the job with a rap sheet that long I’d go in there with big kahunas and effectively accuse all those members of staff of lying and see where it goes.  Nothing to lose.

IT reads less that he says the witnesses are lying  rather procedures were not in place , such as the opportunity to be interviewed.  Until he knows all the ale gators it's rather difficult to decide how to deal with them

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HazRat

I find it unusual that someone could be accused of that much misconduct and not be interviewed about any of it? That’s a fundamental aspect of the misconduct system. If true then he deserves to have the matter discontinued as it’s hardly been conducted in a fair manner.

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