Halford claims home and office phones tapped (CORRECTED)

CORRECTION (PUBLISHED 17 JULY 1992) APPENDED TO THIS ARTICLE

A MEMBER of the Police Complaints Authority was interviewed by police, and dismissed by the Home Office, after he advised Alison Halford about her sex discrimination case on the telephone, it was disclosed last night.

The case is being cited by Miss Halford's lawyers as proof of her claim that her home and office telephones were tapped by Special Branch.

Although the claim was rejected by the Interception of Communications Tribunal, it will now be taken to the European Court of Human Rights. Rex Makin, Miss Halford's solicitor, said yesterday that he had definite proof her conversations with an authority member were tapped.

The Independent has learnt that the proof involves the fate of Gerry Gillman asked by the Home Office to resign in March 1990.

Sources have confirmed that during 1990, Mr Gillman had about six telephone conversations with Miss Halford over her case.

These conversations came before and after allegations surfaced that she had frolicked in a businessman's swimming pool while on duty, allegations which led to a disciplinary investigation by the authority and then her suspension.

Mr Gillman, a former general secretary of the Society of Civil and Public Servants, knew Miss Halford because he was authority member for Merseyside, where she is an assistant chief constable.

He was interviewed by Sussex police officers investigating the disciplinary matters, who eventually told him the Crown Prosecution Service would take no action 'in the public interest'.

Both the police and Home Office officials refused to disclose how his conversations were discovered. Officials suggested a secretary might have been responsible. Mr Gillman, who declined to comment last night, is believed to accept that he made an error of judgement in talking to Miss Halford after the disciplinary inquiry began - which the authority supervised - but has no proof to confirm the tapping suggestions.

Mr Makin said yesterday: 'There is an overwhelming amount of evidence that she was tapped. For a police force to bug a senior officer of her rank, and her home as well, is not right.'

Miss Halford's lawyers issued a statement last night confirming that she was now involved in 'sensitive discussions' to resolve the case. The industrial tribunal in Manchester hearing her claim was last night adjourned until Monday to allow the negotiations for a settlement of the affair to continue.

The hearing has cost more than pounds 1m so far, and it could continue until April. The cost and the damaging publicity have dismayed the Home Office and senior police officers.

Merseyside Police Authority is to meet in private tomorrow to discuss an agreement, which would involve Miss Halford's retirement, ending the disciplinary case, with a large compensation payment to her.

She has claimed that sex discrimination by James Sharples, the Chief Constable of Merseyside, Sir Philip Myers, regional Inspector of Constabulary, the Home Secretary and Northamptonshire Police Authority had held back her promotion.

CORRECTION

In a report in yesterday's Independent, it was incorrectly reported that Gerry Gillman, a former member of the Police Complaints Authority, was dismissed by the Home Office after the disclosure of telephone conversations with Alison Halford, the assistant chief constable of Merseyside. We have been asked to make it clear that he resigned from the authority for personal reasons.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

The Green Recruitment Company: Operations Manager - Anaerobic Digestion / Biogas

£40000 - £45000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Operation...

SThree: Experienced Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £40000 per annum + OTE + Incentives + Benefits: SThree: Established f...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Maintenance Person

£7 - £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care organisation take pride in del...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker

£7 - £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care organisation take pride in del...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent