Wiltshire police chief tells of disappointment as appeal over disgraced sergeant is lost

Wiltshire Times: Police chief Pat Geenty speaks to reporters this morning Police chief Pat Geenty speaks to reporters this morning

Wiltshire Chief Constable Pat Geenty today told of his disappointment at the news that the force has been unsuccessful in seeking a judicial review in the case of Mark Andrews, the police officer sacked after a woman arrested on suspicion for drink driving was injured as he dragged her to a cell at Melksham Police Station in 2008.

Sgt Mark Andrews was jailed in September 2010 for assaulting Pamela Somerville, 60, from Colerne. His conviction was quashed after just six days of imprisonment, but after Wiltshire Police refused to allow him back to work, the Independent Police Appeals Tribunal ordered the force to reinstate Sgt Andrews, which led to their appeal.

Mr Geenty, speaking from the steps of the Wiltshire police headquarters in Devizes today, described Sgt Andrew’s actions as ‘intollerable, discreditable and a disgrace to Wiltshire police’.

He said he was very disappointed with today’s decision.

“I do not believe it would be a reasonable proposition to seek a further legal appeal,” said Mr Geenty.

“We have to consider the cost of any further appeal and I don’t believe it would be successful.”

He said the appeal cost the force around £40,000.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Geenty claimed the decision to go ahead with the appeal was the correct one, despite criticism levelled in the judgement, and he revealed Sgt Andrews will be entitled to back pay from the moment he was suspended.

He refused to be drawn on what job Sgt Andrews could do on his return to the force or speculate on what welcome he could expect from other officers. Mr Geenty said: “I expect the highest standards and professional behaviour from all my officers and expect the same of Sgt Andrews.”

He said he hoped members of the public would treat Sgt Andrews with the same respect.

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