'Dodgy' Northamptonshire police chief Nick Adderley 'told too many lies' - gross misconduct panel hears

Nick Adderley, Northamptonshire's chief of police, was not present at the penultimate day of the gross misconduct hearing.
-Credit: (Image: Jacob King/PA Wire)

On the penultimate day of Northamptonshire Chief Constable Nick Adderley's gross misconduct hearing, the panel heard that he had allegedly sustained a long-term campaign of "mendacious deceit", "skullduggery" and "false narratives" that "borders on satire".

The counsel for the Northamptonshire Police Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) set out the case against Mr Adderley, claiming that he was the originator of a host of military falsehoods, including his serving in the navy for 10 years, reaching the rank of Lieutenant and his position as a military negotiator in Haiti in the 1980s.

Mr Adderley was not present for the closing statements from both counsels. Legally qualified chair Callum Cowx said the top cop has been directed to attend the final day tomorrow, but that he is "unlikely" to show up.

The chief constable previously denied gross misconduct and that he "acted without honesty and integrity".

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The allegations came to light when a former wife of Mr Adderley complained that the media coverage of his military service was incorrect. Scrutiny was then cast on the Falklands War medal that Mr Adderley has worn on his uniform since 2009, despite only being 15 at the time of the conflict.

John Beggs KC, counsel for the PFCC, set out the allegation that the South Atlantic Medal, which Mr Adderley claims was gifted from his older brother, was in fact "bogus" and was applied for in October 2023, after the assertions of dishonesty against the police chief were first made.

Mr Beggs said: "Whichever way you analyse it lies are flowing from his mouth. On your own account Mr Adderley, while a Superintendent at Cheshire Police, started wearing a South Atlantic medal. Why would he do that?

"His answer seems to be 'I wanted to respect that military tradition' and that is superficially an attractive answer. We invite you to find that this was the beginning of a long-term sustained mendacious deceit.

"If you are the relative of one of the 255 personnel who died in the Falklands, or shortly there afterwards, and you notice a public official, no less a chief constable, is pretending to be such a veteran it is deeply offensive.

"The legend that he spent over 10 years in the navy reported diligently by journalists is the self-same legend in his own CV. Your CV has to be true- so why not put a true version of yourself forward?

"This is not one or two fleeting lies, this is sustained mendacity over a lengthy period. If you start to tell lies it eventually unravels.

"He told too many lies. The sad, unhappy truth in this case is he's a dodgy police officer."

The counsel for Mr Adderley, Matthew Holdcroft told the panel that the perpetrators of the untruths were inaccurate media articles that had nothing to do with the personal accounts of the top cop.

He said the "career-ending" allegations of dishonesty against his client needed to be unambiguous and particularised and reeled off case law to the chair Mr Cowx.

"Adjectives don't make up for evidence and the evidence in this case is lacking," Mr Holdcroft said.

"Suggesting that this is a clever contrived lie that's been spanning for decades is demonstrably untrue because no careful liar would be setting themselves up to fail so spectacularly.

"It's so unlikely that he has engaged upon this campaign of dishonesty that Mr Beggs has addressed you upon but not evidenced."

He added that it would be "entirely wrong" to draw adverse inferences from Mr Adderley choosing not to give evidence due to the "spectre of criminal proceedings" hanging over him.

The three-man panel will reconvene tomorrow morning (June 21) at 9am to give their ruling on the misconduct allegations.

If gross misconduct is proven, three possible sanctions are set out for Mr Adderley including a final written warning, a reduction in rank or a dismissal without notice, with the additional consequence of being included on the barred list.