Met Police: woman takes legal action after detective who called her ‘amazingly hot’ remains a serving officer
The Met has confirmed the detective remains an officer despite a panel last year finding him guilty of gross misconduct
Kristina O’Connor, now 33, reported an attempted robbery in October 2011 where she was assaulted by a group of men trying to steal her phone.
DCI Jason Mason asked her out to dinner while taking her statement on the incident and proceeded to send a series of personal emails, with one calling her “amazingly hot”.
What happened following the incident?
Ms O’Connor, the daughter of late comedian Des O’Connor, filed a complaint about DCI Mason who was at the time of the incident a detective sergeant and went on to work alongside Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick.
However, the Met Police have confirmed that he remains a serving officer.
Lawyers for Ms O’Connor argue that the force “failed to properly investigate” the complaint as a case of gender discrimination, and are seeking a judicial review of how the investigation was handled.
What has Ms O’Connor said?
Ms O’Connor told the PA news agency: “I no longer trust the police. I feel that I am as likely to be abused by a police officer as I am by anyone else and perhaps even more likely, as I’ve seen that police officers can harm people with impunity.
“I am fearful of having to call or depend upon the police.”
She added: “I feel appalled that the officer in question is still serving… I question what it takes for an officer to be dismissed. It makes a mockery of the misconduct process that he continues to serve.”
“My experience of the misconduct hearing was terrible. There was a complete lack of care and support for me as a victim,” Ms O’Connor said.
What have her lawyers said?
Nancy Collins, a solicitor at Hodge Jones and Allen, said the case pointed to “more than just a rotten apple” within the police force.
Speaking to the PA news agency, she said: “(Ms O’Connor) was subjected to this terrible misogynistic culture which meant that she suffered this abuse by the officer investigating her crime.
“When she then decided to step forward and complain about this, the Met, I think because the culture of misogyny is so deep-rooted, failed to recognise that her complaint had raised issues of sex discrimination and, we say, didn’t adequately investigate it.”
When Ms O’Connor attended the misconduct hearing, she “wasn’t kept informed” and was left waiting in the building after the panel had gone home having reached its decision, Ms Collins said.
Ms O’Connor’s lawyer added: “She felt very excluded from the process. She wasn’t kept informed. In fact the panel went home having reached a conclusion.
“Nobody told Kristina it had gone home, so she was waiting in the building. So that experience for her was pretty traumatic.”
How have the police force responded?
The force confirmed it was aware of the judicial review but said it was not prepared to discuss the case further.
The Independent Office for Police Misconduct (IOPC), listed as an interested party in the case, said Ms O’Connor had not appealed when it decided the case should be investigated as gross misconduct.
The watchdog said it made this call “based on the information provided” to it by officers who conducted the initial inquiries into the complaint.
A spokesman for the IOPC said: “The IOPC agrees there is serious public concern about abuse of position by police officers for the purposes of sexual gain, which should be taken into account when assessing the degree to which confidence in policing may have been undermined and the appropriate sanction.”
A Met spokesperson said: “We recognise there is a need for real change in the Met. We are committed to creating an environment that is intolerant to those who do not uphold the high values and standards expected of us.”
They added: “Any victim of crime should have the confidence and trust to come to police to receive the support and professionalism they rightfully expect.
“Where this does not happen, we want to know about it so any learning and, if appropriate, disciplinary action can be taken.”
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