Police chief misconduct case delayed as author who ‘quoted claims’ is contacted

Suspended Northamptonshire Police chief constable Nick Adderley is accused of telling lies about his naval history.

Nick Adderley
Nick Adderley (Jacob King/PA)

Misconduct proceedings against a suspended chief constable accused of telling “barefaced lies” about his naval history have been adjourned so an author who allegedly quoted his claims is contacted.

Northamptonshire Police’s Nick Adderley is accused of implying he served in the Falklands War despite being just 15 when the conflict happened in 1982 and wearing a “copy” South Atlantic Medal, as well as exaggerating the length of his military service, achievements and rank.

The misconduct panel was given printouts of two books containing claims about Mr Adderley’s naval service through direct and indirect quotes, and after a debate about whether the fresh evidence was admissible, panel chairman Callum Cowx said the authors of both should be contacted to see if they would speak at the hearing.

Both books – Lured To Their Deaths by journalist John Scheerhout and An Extraordinary Sacrifice: The story Of Pc Nicola Hughes, written by her father Bryn Hughes – were written about the murders of constables Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone in Manchester in 2012, when Mr Adderley was divisional commander for Tameside at Greater Manchester Police.

Lured To Their Deaths features claims that Mr Adderley – who was an able seaman during his two-year naval service – had a 10-year career with the Royal Navy, served as a lieutenant and saw “colleagues die in the Falklands conflict”.

John Beggs KC, representing the Office of the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, says all these claims are false.

An Extraordinary Sacrifice appears to feature a direct quote from Mr Adderley saying he had “held a senior position in the armed forces and I had been in conflict situations”.

While barrister Matthew Holdcroft, acting for Mr Adderley, initially sought to have the evidence ruled inadmissible on Wednesday, he U-turned on Thursday but said it was imperative that the authors were called to attend the hearing.

Mr Hughes, who is said to have submitted a character reference for Mr Adderley as part of the defence, declined the invitation, with Mr Holdcroft saying he had provided a statement to confirm he took the information from other sources.

Mr Scheerhout was away and could not be reached on Thursday, but Mr Cowx said it is important that the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) continues to make “strenuous” efforts to contact him before the misconduct hearing progresses any further.

Adjourning proceedings until Friday morning, Mr Cowx said the panel was in a “difficult position” and could not hear closing statements, which were due to start on Thursday, until Mr Scheerhout had been contacted.

Mr Cowx said: “We would prefer to hear from Mr Hughes but we cannot compel him to and we would prefer it if Mr Scheerhout gave evidence.

“We would like the IOPC to continue to make strenuous efforts to contact him and the IOPC needs more time to establish contact with him or his editor as this is an important matter.

“If we do hear from him in good time tomorrow, we may be in a position where we can take closing submissions.”

Mr Adderley denies misconduct and acting without integrity, but admits he breached standards in terms of duties and responsibilities.

The hearing continues.