Nottinghamshire Police win appeal over High Court ruling on sacked detective
A judge was wrong to quash a Police Appeals Tribunal decision, the force said.
Nottinghamshire Police have won an appeal against a High Court ruling over the dismissal of a former detective sergeant who was wrongly convicted of rape.
The force said a judge was wrong to quash a Police Appeals Tribunal (PAT) decision and order the reinstatement of Trevor Gray, who had served for 25 years.
Mr Gray was jailed for eight years in May 2012 for sexual assault and rape.
His wife traced a witness who gave evidence that led to his conviction being quashed in 2013, and to him being acquitted of all charges at a retrial in March 2014.
At a special disciplinary case hearing in September 2012, he was dismissed from the force for gross misconduct.
PAT allowed his appeal against that decision in April 2014 following his retrial and acquittal.
But a few days after his reinstatement, fresh misconduct proceedings were launched against him and, in August 2014, he was dismissed from the police a second time.
Mr Gray’s appeal against his second dismissal was refused by PAT in May 2015.
In July 2016, Mr Justice Coulson said the April 2014 decision in his favour was final and there should have been no further misconduct proceedings.
Last year, John Beggs QC, for Nottinghamshire Police, told the Court of Appeal that the judge’s ruling undermined the utility of special case – fast-track – proceedings against officers convicted of criminal offences but acquitted on appeal.
“This raises a matter of compelling public importance given the acknowledged purpose of special case proceedings: to secure the swift dismissal of officers who are incontrovertibly guilty of gross misconduct.
“If such officers are acquitted on appeal, the basis for their special case dismissal often disappears, at which point it is lawful for the appropriate authority to consider placing them before a misconduct panel to have the allegations determined to the civil standard.”
On Monday, the Master of the Rolls Sir Terence Etherton, Lord Justice Underhill and Lord Justice Holroyde allowed the appeal and reinstated PAT’s May 2015 decision.