Pc nears end of 16-year fight to clear his name

A DISPUTE between a sacked police constable who refused to join in the "canteen culture" of the police and his former bosses at Scotland Yard may finally be settled after 16 years.

Gordon Warren was dismissed from the Metropolitan Police in 1986 after he had been declared mentally unstable for four years by police doctors.

The High Court, the Court of Appeal and the House of Lords declared the findings unlawful; two chief commissioners of police have issued unreserved apologies, and Mr Warren and his local MP, Tom Brake, recently met Home Office minister Alun Michael to try to resolve the dispute. A new, final settlement is being considered

Mr Warren had an unblemished police record of 27 years and his 30-year marriage broke up under the strain of the ordeal. The dispute, involving four investigations, has cost the taxpayer more than pounds 350,000.

In the past 11 years Mr Warren has refused four offers of police pensions worth some pounds 350 per month. "I was not sick. My good name means everything, they could offer me pounds 1m but I won't sacrifice that principle," Mr Warren said.

Mr Warren's problems began in 1982 when he broke with the "canteen culture" and refused to join a party at Sutton police station organised in police time. Mr Warren recalled "on that night there were no policemen on the streets of Sutton. They were all at the party".

Mr Warren was declared over-reactive and suffering from poor judgement. In 1985 Dr Charles Bott declared him paranoid and unfit for duty. Dr Bott was overruled by two medical referees but in 1986 again declared that Mr Warren had a personality disorder with paranoid tendencies. "I was then kicked out of the force," Mr Warren said.

In l988 the High Court declared the medical certificate signed by Dr Bott unlawful, on the grounds it had "the appearance of bias", and awarded Mr Warren pounds 12,000. The Court of Appeal upheld the High Court decision. Then the case went to the House of Lords where the decision was again upheld.

In 1994 a deal was struck that included an apology, an exemplary certificate of discharge and adequate compensation from the Metropolitan Police. In return Mr Warren was to remain silent on the issue. In 1995 The Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Paul Condon, admitted "there was no truth in the allegations of mental illness or personality disorder with paranoid tendencies". He unreservedly expressed "regret at the distress caused".

Despite this apology, the final settlement offer of pounds 85,000 was rejected and Mr Brake, Liberal Democrat MP for Carshalton and Wallington, wrote to Sir Paul claiming that Mr Warren should be awarded pounds 300,000 to cover legal costs, lost pension and earnings, and trauma. Mr Brake said: "With its hint of masonic intrigue, allegations of pay-offs ... and police malpractice, I had expected a more positive response from the Home Office."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Front End Web Developer - Magento

£28000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Front End Web Developer is re...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Greater London - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Ric...

SThree: IT Recruitment Consultant

£22500 - £30000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Sthree are looking for experie...

Recruitment Genius: Cleaner / Handyman

£16575 - £18785 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Dundee based butchers requ...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat