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Former chief constable loses High Court battle with Police and Crime Commissioner

A retired police chief has lost a High Court fight with a police and
crime commissioner.

Mark Gilmore, former chief constable of the West Yorkshire force,
complained that West Yorkshire police commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson had unfairly failed to decide whether he had a ”case to answer” after misconduct allegations were made.

He asked a judge to order Mr Burns-Williamson to ”make a case-to-answer decision”.

Mr Burns-Williamson said Mr Gilmore’s claim was ”disingenuous”.

Mr Justice Supperstone, who recently analysed rival arguments at a High
Court hearing in London, dismissed his claim on Tuesday.

Mr Gilmore’s retirement as chief constable was announced during the
summer of 2016.

He had been suspended in 2014 following allegations about his
relationship with a car dealership.

Jeremy Johnson QC, who represented Mr Gilmore, had told the judge that a police watchdog and prosecutors found ”no evidence of wrongdoing” following separate inquiries.

Mr Johnson said all Mr Gilmore was asking was for Mr Burns-Williamson to make a decision on the investigation he initiated.

John Beggs QC, who represented Mr Burns-Williamson, said: ”But for
(his) decision to retire he would have received the decision.

”Further, he knew what the decision would be, which is precisely why he
retired when he did, taking his pension and avoiding any further
investigation or public misconduct hearing.

”His claim is disingenuous.”

Mr Justice Supperstone said he had concluded that Mr Burns-Williamson
was “under no obligation to made a case-to-answer determination”.

After the ruling was announced, Mr Burns-Williamson said: “I welcome this clear judgement today which dismisses the judicial review claim against me made by the former chief constable Mark Gilmore.

“As West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, I have consistently worked in the best interests of West Yorkshire Police and the people we all serve.

“I am pleased that the judgement means that I can re-focus my efforts on supporting our dedicated police officers and staff working to help keep West Yorkshire safe and feeling safe.

“Later on today I am going to be in Westminster talking to West Yorkshire MPs about the need for more government resources for our police service.

“With that in mind I am reassured that Mr Gilmore, rather than the tax payers of West Yorkshire, will be paying for the costs of bringing this case.”

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