Call for inquiry over treatment of ex-detective Gurpal Virdi


An inquiry into the sex assault prosecution of a retired Asian detective must be launched by the Home Secretary following concerns it was brought maliciously, a Conservative MP has said.

Gurpal Virdi, 56, was found not guilty in July of sexually assaulting a teenage boy in the back of a police van nearly 30 years ago and he accused the Metropolitan Police of bringing the case against him as part of a 17-year campaign to "hound" him out of the force.

Sir Peter Bottomley has written a letter to Theresa May calling for her to stage a meeting of senior legal and policing figures to investigate why the prosecution was allowed to go ahead.

He said the case was either pursued for reasons of "incompetence" or "malice" and an inquiry must now get under way.

"In my 40 years of public service this is the worst case of public bodies wasting money and targeting a good person that I have come across," he said.

"I think this justifies an inquiry. The Home Secretary should have the meeting then decide what kind of inquiry is appropriate."

Mr Virdi was accused of handcuffing the 16-year-old, calling him a "n*****" and then prodding him in the bottom with a truncheon during the incident on November 7 1986.

But he was acquitted by a jury after just one hour of deliberation, an official at London's Southwark Crown Court said.

During the case Mr Virdi accused the police of trying to discredit him after he gave evidence to the Stephen Lawrence inquiry about racism within the police force.

He told jurors: "This is a typical reaction from a department that has hounded me since 1998, investigating me and following me around and bugging my phone. Doing all sorts of things."

Mr Virdi, a married father-of-two from Hounslow in west London, was found not guilty of indecent assault on a male and misconduct in public office.

The alleged attack was said to have happened when Mr Virdi was attached to the crime squad in Battersea, south London.

Mr Virdi said he thought the "facts speak for themselves", adding that the allegations were "malicious and false".

Asked if he hoped the Home Secretary would look at the case, he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I surely hope so, but there is a lot of issues to be sorted out."

He claimed: "I dealt with a stabbing incident for which I did a submission to the Stephen Lawrence inquiry and ever since then the Met has continually campaigned to discredit me."