Gangsters appeal after Met officer pictured in car with female juror

Metropolitan Police (PA) (PA Archive)
Metropolitan Police (PA) (PA Archive)

Two organised criminals are appealing against their convictions after a Metropolitan Police officer was photographed by defence barristers driving away from court with a female juror in his car.

The veteran detective constable, granted anonymity at a gross misconduct hearing last Thursday, breached standards of professional behaviour in respect of discreditable conduct and integrity.

He would have been dismissed had he not retired from the force on December 12, 2023.

Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist, who chaired the panel, revealed in a written judgement on Monday the pair’s guilty verdicts have been referred to the Court of Appeal which will add to the “further financial harm” stemming from his actions.

The DC was officer in the case of two defendants accused of organised crime at Harrow Crown Court.

After the trial, defence counsel for the suspects observed him interacting with two jurors before driving away from the building with one of them in his car on November 10, 2022.

AC Twist said it “was purely good fortune” the lawyers saw this from their robing room and gathered photographic evidence before they “quite properly reported it as soon as possible”.

The officer, attached to the Specialist Crime Command and known as Officer A, was interviewed under caution but lied about having any contact with the juror.

Phone data later showed he had messaged and called her on the same day. He withheld the PIN number to his mobile which would have assisted the investigation.

It is inappropriate for officers to have contact with jurors as this could be seen as an attempt to influence their decision.

AC Twist added: “As a result of this, the trial was referred to the Court of Appeal due to a post‐trial jury irregularity.

An exterior view of Harrow Crown Court (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Archive)
An exterior view of Harrow Crown Court (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Archive)

“The officer made a personal decision to approach two jurors in a case in which he was the officer in the case.

“He would have known that this could cause serious disruption to the trial process.

“It is accepted that he did not intentionally attempt to undermine the trial process, what he was trying to do is not clear, but the implications and seriousness of it clearly is.”

He concluded: “The harm in this case stems from the financial implication of conducting a full trial that might have been compromised.

“There is further financial harm occasioned by the consequent appeal that must follow from [his] actions.

“More importantly though is the serious reputational risk and harm to public confidence caused by officers appearing to contact jurors in trials for whatever reason.

“This can only undermine the reputation of the Metropolitan Police in the eyes of the public.”

Officer A has been placed on the Barred List, which prevents him from re-joining the police.

Approached for further comment, the Met said his anonymity was granted after the officer made representations to the panel’s independent chair.

Detective Chief Superintendent Nick Blackburn, of the Specialist Crime Command, said: “Former Officer A’s behaviour was unacceptable, unprofessional and risked jeopardising a criminal trial.

“The work that the Metropolitan Police’s Specialist Crime Teams undertake involves the most organised of criminality and there is no place in the Met for officers who, through their actions, diminish our ability to dismantle organised criminal networks.”