Metropolitan Police have started a legal battle after a senior police officer convicted of possessing a child abuse video was allowed to return to work.
Superintendent Novlett Robyn Williams won a court appeal earlier this year against the decision to fire her and has been reinstated as a police officer.
But the Encounter has now sought judicial review and finds that the court that overturned his dismissal failed to properly assess the seriousness of his conviction.
A highly decorated officer in the London force, she was commended for her work after the Grenfell disaster and was also awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service in 2003.
She was sentenced to 200 hours of community service for possessing an indecent image in November 2019.
His trial learned how his older sister Jennifer Hodge, 57, sent him a child abuse video via WhatsApp to investigate the footage.
However, Williams did not report the clip, and although the court admitted that she had not viewed the video, the jury was not convinced that she was unaware that it was on her phone.
After a special disciplinary hearing in March 2020 found her conviction amounted to serious misconduct, Williams was terminated with immediate effect from her job.
But the Police Appeals Tribunal (PAT) later ruled that the decision was wrong and that she should have received a final written warning instead.
In February, Williams was denied an appeal of his criminal conviction by the Court of Appeals.
The Met is asking for judicial reviews of two cases where dismissals were overturned by the PAT, with the details of the second unknown.
Williams and the person involved in the second case have been reinstated as police officers while legal proceedings continue.
A Met spokesperson said: “In both cases, the Met believes that the PAT did not properly assess the severity of the convictions.
“The Met also believes that the obligation to reinstate, as a result of PAT decisions, is also in potential conflict with the verification processes.”
He continued, “By challenging the legal principles that led to the PAT rulings, the Met seeks to ensure a legal and consistent approach to malpractice hearings in the future, bearing in mind that there is a serious problem with the way disciplinary committees and the PAT approach criminal convictions.
“These PAT decisions currently leave a lack of clarity for disciplinary committees in determining the outcome of such conduct cases and this has an associated impact on public confidence.”