Northamptonshire top cop Nick Adderley's controversial war medal is a 'copy', expert says

Nick Adderley, Northamptonshire's chief of police, decided not to take the stand to give evidence in the hearing after receiving legal advice from his solicitor.
-Credit: (Image: Jacob King/PA Wire)


Northamptonshire's chief of police Nick Adderley has faced accusations that the Falklands War medal he incorrectly wore on his left breast was a copy. A medal expert told the misconduct panel that he was "110 per cent sure" it was not genuine.

The county's top cop is sitting through a three-day-long gross misconduct hearing over claims that he was dishonest about his military history and lied about his service record on multiple occasions.

Mr Adderley admitted yesterday that he "breached standards" in terms of duties and responsibilities, but denies gross misconduct and that he "acted without honesty and integrity". He refused to take the stand to give evidence today (May 29).

Mr Adderley was first put under scrutiny in September 2023 when it was revealed that he was wearing a South Atlantic Medal, which is given to veterans who have served in the Falklands War. He revealed that the medal belonged to his older brother who passed it on to him when he emigrated.

The counsel for the Police Fire and Crime Commissioner brought forward claims that the very medal that he was spotted wearing was a 'copy' and wasn't one officially awarded by the MOD (Ministry of Defence).

An expert from the MOD medal office, Chris Hayward, was called to the stand for the counsels to examine. He said he had seen "hundreds if not thousands" of South Atlantic Medals during his career.

Mr Hayward checked Mr Adderley's medal after the IOPC sent it for inspection during their investigation. He said the medal was of a "poorer quality" than official Falklands medals.

He added that he could tell "virtually straight away" that it was not made of the same material.

"A lot of the copy medals, they look more blingy, more shiny and you can just tell straight away. When it's cupronickel the medal is heavier and it's got a darker look to it as well," he continued.

Nick Adderley (back left) pictured wearing the South Atlantic Medal, awarded to veterans who served in the Falklands War, on his left. Royal British Legion protocol states that medals passed onto loved ones should be worn on the right.
Nick Adderley (back left) pictured wearing the South Atlantic Medal, awarded to veterans who served in the Falklands War, on his left. Royal British Legion protocol states that medals passed onto loved ones should be worn on the right. -Credit:Office of Police Fire and Crime Commissioner

Mr Hayward added he was "110 per cent sure" that it was a 'copy' medal. He said it was thrown away after inspection, as is the procedure for non-genuine medals.

However, the defence counsel, led by Matthew Holdcroft, contended that they could not be sure the medal provided for inspection was the same one that was worn by Nick Adderley and subsequently sent off by the IOPC.

They cited discrepancies between the notes of the lead investigator for the case for the IOPC, Neil Collins, and the report written by medal expert Mr Hayward.

Mr Collins said he observed the engraving on Mr Adderley's medal was "very crude". He also said he saw what he thought was a military service number when Mr Hayward said there was none.

Mr Adderley's defence counsel also attempted to make the point to the panel that there was 'no case to answer' for the top cop. He said the claims that Mr Adderley had purposefully been untruthful to conjure the image that he served in the Falklands and held the rank of an officer were based on "inferences and innuendo".

He continued: "He has only described himself as 'former Royal Navy personnel' or 'ex-military'.

"He has been culpable of being sloppy, not checking things, not thinking things through with the diligence he should have done. You cannot find him culpable of dishonesty."

Mr Holdcroft said Mr Adderley's exaggerated history was a result of reporting in the media where quotes were being attributed to him. He said the chief constable was being "beaten with" articles which he was not responsible for.

Mr Beggs KC, the counsel for the OPFCC, rebutted saying he chose to open his own application with the assertion that he was a senior ranking officer and that he served in the navy for 11 years, when in fact it was only two.

He said: "That alone obliterates pretty much everything my learned friend says. That's just a lie on the opening page of his application, not to join a local tennis club, but to become a chief constable.

"You might say, you know what, that was just a bit lazy. Or you might say, you know what, when we look at all of this together this was a campaign of dishonesty.

"Out of his own mouth, he condemns himself."

After much deliberation, the top officer chose not to give evidence before the panel after taking legal advice from his solicitor in relation to criminal proceedings. Both counsels will begin their summing up of the evidence tomorrow.

The hearing continues.