NOTE BY THE METROPOLITAN POLICE
(Example of officers subject to disciplinary
proceedings retiring due to ill health)
DS Thomas Bradley, DS Ian Martin, DC Barry Porter
and two others
The three named officers are currently in receipt
of ill-health pensions, following their retirements, which took
place whilst they were suspended and awaiting discipline proceedings.
In 1995, a wealthy international businessman alleged
to Belgravia police that two employees at his home in Knightsbridge
had stolen funds belonging to him and his wife. The investigation
of the crime was allocated to DS Bradley who, in the meantime,
was involved in an unrelated special enquiry which gave him access
to police vehicles, staff and other resources.
DS Bradley made contact with the victim as part of
the investigation. He also reached an agreement that he would
arrange for the businessman and his wife to be chauffeured and
'protected' while in London-for a fee. When the family next arrived
on a visit to the UK in October 1995, they were met at the airport
by DS Bradley and a colleague, DS Martin, who held up a placard
for identification. Mercedes cars were hired and a number of
officers took turns to act as chauffeurs and bodyguards, including
protecting the family at their home address and arranging an escort
as they jogged in the park. It is believed that a sum of several
thousand pounds was to be paid for the service.
The officers were suspended from duty at the end
of November 1995. DS Bradley was to have been charged with the
following discipline offences (no criminal charges were preferred);
1. Failing to notify the Commissioner of a business
interest (acting as chauffeur/bodyguard).
2. Discreditable conduct by acting as a chauffeur/bodyguard
on 20 occasions in October and November 1995.
3. Carrying an unauthorised passenger in a police
4. Failing to record use of a police vehicle
in the log.
5. Driving a police vehicle for his own purpose.
6. Failing to record details of a criminal investigation.
7. Making false/misleading entries on his duty
8. Making false/misleading entries on his duty
DS Martin was to have been charged with two discipline
offences relating to his employment as a chauffeur and bodyguard
and DC Porter was to have been charged with seven offences, similar
in nature to those of DS Bradley.
All the officers subsequently reported sick, two
(including Bradley) immediately. On 5 September 1996 the chief
medical officer for the Metropolitan Police recommended that DS
Bradley be retired on medical grounds. A further medical examination
by James P Watson, Professor in Psychiatry at Guy's Hospital,
took place at the request of the Metropolitan Police Committee.
The MPC then wrote to the MPS on 18 June 1997, advising that
the officer be immediately medically retired.
DS Bradley had first been examined in December 1995
by his GP, Dr Birmingham-McDonagh, by whom he was referred to
his local psychiatric service. An examination was conducted and
a report later prepared by Dr F Ghali, consultant psychiatrist.
Meanwhile Bradley remained under the care of Dr E A Harvey-Smith,
a consultant psychiatrist based at Orpington Hospital. Following
a refusal to co-operate further with the MPS occupational health
department Bradley was referred to Lieutenant Colonel Ian Palmer
RAMC, Senior Lecturer in Military Psychiatry and, as previously
described, to Professor Watson. Dr Wallington , the chief medical
officer of the MPS also examined Bradley.
All the doctors concluded that DS Bradley was suffering
from a psychiatric disorder. After the medical examinations and
following a full consideration of legal advice, the officer was
granted ill-health retirement, the decision being reluctantly
taken that the MPS should not proceed with discipline charges.
DS Martin and DC Porter were also granted ill-health pensions
(in August 1996 and April 1997, respectively), although the MPS
deeply regretted that discipline proceedings could not take place.
Bradley and Porter later appealed against decisions
not to grant them injury awards, although Bradley has since withdrawn
his appeal. In the case of Porter, the claim for an injury award
relates to depression and anxiety which 'has been precipitated
by his suspension from the police and the way in which it was
conducted.' Bradley's claim related to an illness supposedly
derived from events in 1990. Two other officers are still suspended
and have been charged with disciplinary offences similar to those
alleged against DS Bradley.
There remains real concern that individuals who are
ostensibly mentally strong before their suspension, suffer severe
psychiatric illness immediately afterwards and yet so quickly
recover following their retirement, to the extent that they are
able to function in demanding areas of employment.