Northamptonshire Chief Constable Nick Adderley refuses to give evidence in gross misconduct hearing as crucial disputed book quotes questioned

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A day that should have been the final one of the police misconduct hearing into Nick Adderley, Chief Constable for Northamptonshire, has ended with the summing up still unheard.

The three-man panel, led by the legally qualified chair Callum Cowx, former Chief Constable of Merseyside Police Andy Cooke and James Maund, prepared to listen to Mr John Beggs KC putting the case against the county’s suspended top cop.

As proceedings looked like they would get under way, the panel was asked if ‘evidence’ revealed in two books, about the tragic murders of two Greater Manchester police officers, would be admissible.

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The books, ‘An Extraordinary Sacrifice’ by Bryn Hughes – for which Mr Adderley wrote the foreword – and ‘Lured to Their Death’ by Manchester Evening News crime reporter John Scheerhout – which thanked Mr Adderley featured quotes attributed to the police officer.

Police Federation/ Greater Manchester Police/Lured to Their DeathsPolice Federation/ Greater Manchester Police/Lured to Their Deaths
Police Federation/ Greater Manchester Police/Lured to Their Deaths
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In ‘An Extraordinary Sacrifice’ Mr Adderley was quoted saying: “It was like an out-of-body experience. I had held a senior position in the armed forces and I had been in conflict situations, but this was nothing else, because the rules of engagement were completely different.”

In ‘Lured to Their Death’ this was written about Mr Adderley: “He had served as a lieutenant with the Royal Navy for 10 years. He had seen colleagues die in the Falklands conflict. But this was different, somehow harder to take.”

Mr Adderley was quoted as saying: “I was in the armed forces and experienced loss of life in active service, but this was completely different.”

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Nick Adderley leaves the hearing on Tuesday/National WorldNick Adderley leaves the hearing on Tuesday/National World
Nick Adderley leaves the hearing on Tuesday/National World

Grappling with the legal details Mr Holdcroft, defending the Chief Constable, asked his client about the quotes.

Matthew Holdcroft said: “He [Mr Adderley] does not accept that they were direct quotes.”

It was revealed investigators for the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) had ‘chased down’ experienced journalist Mr Scheerhout but, when first approached in January, he had been advised to not give evidence under legal advice. But he had confirmed to the IOPC investigator Graeme Pallister that he ‘properly sourced everything he produced’.

Mr Beggs, who had hoped to cross-examine Mr Adderley and ask him about the extracts, said: “How likely is it that not one police officer even mentioned either book despite him writing the foreword to one book and the first person to be thanked in the other, Mr Adderley must have known about both books. When he was described as a ‘lieutenant’ in the Royal Navy, under the standards of behaviour Mr Adderley had an immediate duty to put on record with the author that he had been wrongly described. This could have been done in an email, an email that might have taken five minutes to write.”

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Defending, Mr Holdcroft reiterated his client Mr Adderley ‘did not supply the quotes’ and that it was not an area Mr Adderley ‘was willing to revisit’ because the trauma of the events, and that after the murders the then Chief Superintendent had ‘lost his sparkle’.

Mr Holdcroft suggested that journalists had ‘cut and pasted’ quotes, recycling articles. Mr Adderley was then invited once more to have his say by Mr Cowx who said: “I think the panel would like to hear from Mr Adderley – we would prefer to hear Mr Adderley give us evidence on that. There is ‘prima facie’ evidence that he provided these quotes.”

The Chief Constable, clutching a folder containing photos and personal documents, quietly shook his head.

During the lunch break Mr Adderley’s legal team had contacted Mr Hughes, father of murdered police officer Nicola Hughes, a character witness for Mr Adderley. Mr Hughes, in an email, said he had used Mr Scheerhout’s book as a reference for his own book. He agreed to give a statement but not attend the tribunal in person.

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After another lengthy pause in proceedings, the panel was informed Mr Scheerhout had been unable to be contacted. To allow time it was agreed for the hearing to spill over into an extra day.

Mr Cowx said: “The panel believe that there is [need] to hear from Mr Scheerhout or his editor. This is a very important matter.”

As the rained hammered down outside the panel adjourned, and will reconvene at Northamptonshire County Cricket Club ground at 9am tomorrow (Friday).

If necessary the hearing will continue on Saturday and possibly into next week.

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