The Northamptonshire Police inspector sacked for gross misconduct has today publicly apologised for his behaviour, but described the punishment as “wholly disproportionate”.
Speaking to the Chronicle and Echo, former Inspector Daemon Johnson expressed deep regret for his actions which saw a 25-year police career suddenly ended this week.
Yesterday, this newspaper exclusively revealed the senior officer had been sacked after an inappropriate photograph was posted on the social networking site Facebook.
In a statement, Wootton Hall said an officer had appeared before a misconduct hearing in relation to allegations of inappropriate comments to female staff, misuse of the force email system and improper behaviour”.
Speaking today, Mr Johnson said: “Let me start by offering my most sincere apologies to those who I may have offended, the community of Northamptonshire for letting them down and the officers and staff at Northamptonshire Police.”
He said he did not upload any images “maliciously” and the image concerned was of “a private and personal nature intended to be sent as an MMS (multimedia messaging service) to my partner. As soon as I found out about this image I took all reasonable and appropriate measure you would expect removing the image, apologising and removing myself from that site.
He added: “I do not feel I brought Northamptonshire Police into disrepute, indeed many of my colleagues and friends lambasted me tirelessly for my error. I am not proud of this mistake but it was an honest mistake nontheless. To err is human to forgive divine.”
Referring to the probe by the force’s Professional Standards department, Mr Johnson said they had undertaken “what can only be described as a disproportionate investigation into my every move, every phone call, every email and finally found two members of staff who said that I had made comments to them that were of a jovial but personal nature”.
He insisted he always respected the race and diversity of all members of staff under his command and had testimonials from senior and junior ranking officers supporting his “inclusive and nurturing” leadership style.
He added: “Although I understand the panel’s decision, I consider this wholly disproportionate to the matters that I was held to account for. I have at no time been suspended and was actively engaged in policing right up to my dismissal. I have 25 years of excellent service and put in place a number of innovative community schemes in Northampton that benefit those who may be disadvantaged or at risk of harm.
“I was responsible for a 70 per cent reduction in serious acquistive crime and a five per cent reduction in anti-social behaviour. I have forged excellent community links with some wonderful hard working people in the east of Northampton and I have had the support of many of the rank and file of police.”
Northamptonshire Police said yesterday that all officers had the right to appeal.