Suspended police chief's misconduct hearing appeal dismissed

A police chief constable's bid to have his gross misconduct hearing thrown out has been dismissed.

Suspended chief constable Simon Byrne, of Cheshire Constabulary, is accused of "bullying" and "humiliating" staff.

A gross misconduct hearing was due to start in Warrington last week but Mr Byrne's legal team applied to have the allegations dropped.

On Tuesday the panel rejected the application.

A spokeswoman for the office of the Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner said: "The independent panel stated that there was no significant prejudice or lasting harm caused to CC Byrne.

"It was the panel’s clear view that CC Byrne can have a fair hearing.

“However, Chief Constable Byrne's legal team has indicated that they intend to challenge the independent panel’s decision via a judicial review, subject to them securing funding.

"Subject to the outcome of any judicial review proceedings, the case will reconvene on Monday 2 July 2018.

“It is unfortunate that witnesses, who have been waiting for a significant amount of time to give evidence, will have yet a further delay before they are able to tell their story."

Gerry Boyle QC, representing Mr Byrne, told the hearing the investigation into the former Met Police officer was "unfair" and "littered with procedural errors".

He said: “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, commissioner David Keane said he had always wanted to "do things in a very fair, very open and very considerate manner".