GROSS misconduct charges against a police superintendent have been dropped after it was agreed a fair hearing could not take place.

Superintendent Bev Gill had been accused of meddling with investigations involving friends at Cleveland Police.

She said the investigation against her had been “biased, flawed and inherently unfair”.

Read more: Delay in former Cleveland Police standards chief's disciplinary hearing

At a disciplinary hearing in Stockton today (Friday), the allegations against Supt Gill were dismissed.

Supt Gill blamed Cleveland Police’s ex-chief constable, Mike Veale, and its former civilian head of standards and ethics, Cristiana Emsley.

Hugh Davies, QC, who was representing Supt Gill read from her statement to the panel, in which she said: “The history of the investigation against me which led to the bringing of their proceedings has been biased, flawed and inherently unfair.

“I have been used as a warning to others, sought by former chief constable Mike Veale.

“Improper control and influence on the investigation appears to have arisen because of a personal and undisclosed relationship with Cristiana Emsley.”

Supt Gill went on the say during the investigation “inaccurate rumours” had been presented as fact.

She said: “Statements were littered with opinion, rumours and hearsay evidence.

“The conduct of the original investigation had seriously compromised the outcome of the final IOPC led investigation.“

Stephen Morley, representing the force as the “appropriate authority” said not all the criticism was accepted but “key points” about delays were accepted.

He added there were difficulties in proceeding the case, including the ill health of a key witness.

He said: “A full and fair hearing cannot currently take place.”

Potential witnesses in this case are involved in two other misconduct hearings. One of those may start this month. Mr Morley said the other one, due to start next week, had been adjourned.

At a hearing last year, it was heard Supt Gill had meddled in two investigations involving her friends.

Supt Gill was accused of acting inappropriately by “tipping off” a colleague he was under investigation for sexual misconduct.

The allegations involved Detective Inspector Simon Hurwood, who resigned from Cleveland Police, after his behaviour towards more than 20 women came to light.

She was also accused of intervening in an inquiry after a senior officer lied about injuries about a love rival.

She was charged with gross misconduct but had strongly denied the claims.

After the hearing, Cleveland Police said ongoing legal proceedings meant it could only offer a limited response to the outcome of the case.

Victor Marshal, professional standards coordinator, Police Superintendents’ Association: “The Police Superintendents’ Association has supported Bev throughout this process, during which she has cooperated fully with every aspect of the investigation.  She has strongly denied any wrongdoing throughout, and we are pleased that today all allegations have been dismissed by an independent panel, because all were in agreement that no fair hearing could take place.

“We have formally raised our deep concerns over the handling of this investigation at a senior level, and the unacceptable length of time it has taken to conclude. It has been extraordinary in many ways, not least because of the fact that material exists to substantiate Bev’s own concerns with the investigation, which the force has never shared.”

Following the case, Ms Gill said: “I have strenuously denied all the claims made against me throughout, and have challenged the process that has been followed. I question the motivation behind the investigation, which I believe has lacked any legitimacy, something my legal representatives have continuously raised.

“Cleveland Police has failed to respond to these formal concerns and have consistently failed to share material it holds, which supports my case.

“This investigation began in 2018, I have been suspended from serving communities for no proven reason and have suffered ill health as a result.  I am pleased that this process has now come to end, and that despite being put through four years of investigation and being prevented from doing the job that I love, all allegations against me have been dismissed.”

Mr Veale faces gross misconduct proceedings for allegedly breaching professional standards while he led Cleveland Police. He stepped down in 2019.

When he was in charge of Wiltshire Police, he led a controversial inquiry into sexual allegations against late prime minister Sir Edward Heath.

Ms Emsley was the force’s first non-warranted director of its standards and ethics department, which was set up following a number of scandals. She was suspended in 2020.

After the hearing, Cleveland Police said ongoing legal proceedings meant it could only offer a limited response to the outcome of the case.

A Cleveland Police spokesperson said: “The Legally Qualified Chair (LQC) today determined it would not be possible to proceed due to the difficulties outlined with disclosure in this matter and the allegations will be dismissed.

“The LQC acknowledged the need for a full hearing which has not been made possible at this time due to other ongoing legal proceedings and could not have been forseen.

“These ongoing legal proceedings mean we are unable to comment further.”

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