Under fire police chief 'backed colleague despite misconduct'


An under fire police chief allowed a colleague, who pressured a vulnerable member of staff into two sex acts, to stay on so he would not lose his pension, a tribunal heard.

Former chief constable Mike Craik, who has been at the centre of damning allegations about the conduct of high ranking officers at Northumbria Police, is said to have instead just had a "quiet word" with superintendent David Borrie.

Mr Borrie, 57, who was not dismissed after the incidents in his car, was simply advised by Mr Craik "don't apply for promotion", it is alleged.

It took an investigation by the police watchdog to rule that Mr Borrie should receive an official warning.

The case has heard how Mr Craik is also accused of lying to try and cover up an affair he had with his assistant chief constable Carolyn Peacock, but was accosted by her chief superintendent husband, Jim, and punched at a barbecue.

The police were called to deal with the altercation, but the record of this was then said to be deleted and officers told not to look for it.

Details of a second fling involving "tassels with nipples" and "hula hoops" have also emerged, which is said to have involved assistant chief constable Greg Vant and Mr Craik's secretary, Juliet Bains.

The tribunal in North Shields, North Tyneside, was convened after Denise Aubrey, the former head of legal services at the force, was sacked for gross misconduct after she was accused of disclosing information about the affairs.

Ms Aubrey, 54, denies this and has instead accused her former bosses of "unfair dismissal following a protected disclosure, sex discrimination, disability discrimination, victimisation and harassment".

In her statement, she said Mr Borrie pursued the "extremely vulnerable" civilian member of staff, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and "groped her in the office".

She said: "On another occasion, he took her for a drink in the afternoon at a pub and then pressurised her into giving him oral sex."

This happened a second time and eventually an investigation was launched.

Ms Aubrey said: "Borrie was not dismissed, whilst it was felt that a criminal charge would not succeed, he had clearly breached police standards.

"Instead, it was decided to move him but to allow him to complete his service so that he could get his pension. Mr Craik decided to have a 'quiet word' with him and told him 'not to bother applying for promotion'.

"However, the IPCC insisted that he received a formal written warning."