Former Met chief on theft charge

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The Independent Online
WYN JONES, who was until nine months ago one of the country's most senior police officers, is to appear before magistrates in central London next month charged with shoplifting.

Mr Jones, who was sacked last December from the pounds 67,000-a-year post of Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner for alleged misconduct, is accused of stealing wine, chicken breasts and cheese, worth about pounds 24 from Marks and Spencer, in Kings Road, Chelsea.

He is expected to deny the charges when he appears before Bow Street magistrates.

Mr Jones, 50, was once widely regarded as a future Commissioner. At the age of 40, he was appointed deputy assistant commissioner in Scotland Yard's Criminal Investigation Department. He had a major role in the policing of two of the most sensitive long-running issues in recent years - at Greenham Common peace camp in Berkshire, during anti-nuclear demonstrations in the 1980s, and during picketing outside the News International plant at Wapping, east London, which ended in riots.

Instead he became the most senior Scotland Yard officer to have been the subject of disciplinary proceedings.

An inquiry headed by West Yorkshire Police cleared him of any criminal misconduct, but a special disciplinary tribunal found 10 of the 31 allegations were 'proved and reprehensible' and showed a pattern of behaviour which made Mr Jones unfit to hold office. The tribunal recommended last year that the Home Secretary should ask the Queen to withdraw his warrant - a move required because of his seniority.

Mr Jones has always denied the allegations, claiming he was the subject of a witch- hunt because of his plans for radical reforms within the Metropolitan Police. But he failed to win a judicial review of the case and his dismissal followed two weeks later.