Police chiefs Sean Price and Derek Bonnard drop legal claims


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The Independent Online

A chief constable who was sacked and his deputy have dropped legal claims relating to their arrest as part of a corruption inquiry.

Sean Price, fired from Cleveland Police in October for gross misconduct, and his suspended deputy Derek Bonnard have abandoned claims of unlawful arrest and detention, trespass and breach of their human rights

They had announced they were suing the head of Operation Sacristy - which is investigating alleged corruption - and Warwickshire, West Yorkshire and North Yorkshire Police which are supporting the inquiry.

Keith Bristow, the director general of the National Crime Agency, is leading Operation Sacristy.

But Rebian Solicitors in Leeds who act for Mr Price and Deputy Chief Constable Bonnard have told the three forces and Mr Bristow that the claims were being dropped.

A spokesperson for Operation Sacristy said: "We note that their civil claim has now been withdrawn.

"We intended to defend their civil action against us and would have demonstrated in court that their arrest, the searches and their interviews were necessary, lawful and proportionate."

It has not yet been decided whether a claim against the two men will now be made for the costs incurred in preparing a defence against them.

Cleveland Police said Mr Bonnard will face a private misconduct hearing lasting up for four weeks in March.

He faces seven allegations of gross misconduct.

Mr Price became the first chief constable to be sacked in 35 years when a disciplinary panel found he had lied about his role in the recruitment of the former police authority's daughter. It also found he directed a member of staff to lie about it.