Met officer faces sack over child abuse video despite appeal

One of Britain’s most senior black woman officers, who changed into praised for assisting sufferers of the Grenfell disaster, faces being sacked from the Metropolitan police within days following a crook conviction.

The pressure has set a date of thirteen March for a quick-track hearing after Supt Robyn Williams turned into convicted by using a jury of owning an indecent image of a baby.

While the Metropolitan Black Police Association has said her targeting become an instance of institutional racism, some Met chiefs suppose the jury verdict manner she lied, a declare Williams denies.

Williams changed into sent an unsolicited video of a infant being abused in February 2018 by her sister, who desired the paedophile in the back of it hunted down and caught. It turned into sent through WhatsApp and Williams stated she never watched it, which the jury seemed to just accept in acquitting her of a charge of overlaying up expertise about the video to protect her sister.

Williams is appealing in opposition to her conviction with the aid of majority verdict in November 2019, and the court of enchantment is yet to determine whether or not it’s going to hear her case.

Williams, 54, is accused of gross misconduct with the aid of the Met, with the reality of her conviction being the sole grounds for the subject fee. If she is located guilty, it is expected her 36-yr policing profession will end in dismissal.

She is one of the most senior girl African-Caribbean officers in Britain and changed into a founder member of the National Black Police Association and helped to installation a gay police affiliation. She has campaigned for greater women in policing and has been presented the Queen’s police medal.

At the public listening to in west London, Williams will not be allowed to name witnesses however she can be legally represented.

In its notice pronouncing the only-day hearing, the Met stated: “It is claimed that Superintendent Robyn Williams breached the standards of professional behaviour … in recognize of discreditable conduct.”

It said the rate amounted to “gross misconduct and is so extreme as to justify dismissal”.

Williams is being supported by using the Black Police Association and the Police Superintendents Association. Victor Marshall, the latter association’s expert standards coordinator, stated: “The Police Superintendents’ Association maintains to guide Supt Williams during this process, and additionally all through her appeal which has been lodged towards both her conviction and sentence.”

Explaining the decision to hold a quick-tune listening to, the Met said: “A unique case listening to cautiously considers all the evidence earlier than accomplishing a choice on whether misconduct is established and in that case what the sanction need to be.

“The officer problem to the listening to is entitled to legal representation and the assist of the Police Federation or different police consultant bodies.”

Williams changed into sentenced to 200 hours of community provider, which she has completed. She stays at the intercourse offenders sign in following her conviction, in spite of the prosecution at her trial accepting she had no sexual interest in children and had in no way watched the video. She is currently on restricted obligations.

Williams told an Old Bailey jury at her trial that she had never visible a video thumbnail picture in WhatsApp on her phone that the prosecution stated she need to have seen and could have alerted her to the kid abuse video.

The prosecution informed an Old Bailey jury she had lied to shield her sister from capability motion for distributing the picture and video. Under the law, she had to expose she had a lawful cause to have it in her ownership.

A jury cleared Williams of corruptly failing to file the video to her superiors however convicted her of possession of it.

Some noticed those verdicts as contradictory and questioned why the Met had pursued her while it had the option no longer to achieve this.

It is anticipated that if the court docket of appeal decides to pay attention William’s try to overturn her conviction, the Met would do not forget postponing the listening to at which she faces being sacked.

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