Nick Adderley: Suspended chief constable's Falklands War medal 'appears to be false'

A misconduct panel was told that the medal worn by Nick Adderley since 2010 "appears not to be a valid medal".

Mr Adderley, who is currently suspended by Northamptonshire police, is facing a three-day gross misconduct hearing.

He previously claimed that the South Atlantic Medal had been given to him by his brother, although he had been wearing the honour in a way that suggested it was his own and had therefore served in the Falklands conflict himself.

Mr Adderley is accused of exaggerating his rank, length of service and achievements in the Royal Navy, including on his application for the position as chief constable of Northamptonshire police.

The panel heard that Mr Adderley had claimed to have served in the navy for 10 years and to have been a Falklands war veteran, when, in reality, he had served for only two years and was only 15 when the conflict began in 1982.

John Beggs KC, representing the Office of the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (OPFCC), said that it is "risible" that Mr Adderley seeks to explain his "falsehoods" by "being lazy and sloppy".

'An egregious thing to have done'

"To claim you served your country when in fact you were 15 years old is an egregious thing to have done by any person, let alone a senior police officer," said Mr Beggs.

Mr Beggs also said that Mr Adderley's claims to have served in the Falklands war had "caused deep offence because we know 255 service people met their deaths in that war and many more were injured".

Mr Adderley is also accused of lying about attending the prestigious Britannia Royal Naval College, commonly known as Dartmouth, and having served as a military negotiator in Haiti in 1986 when he would have been just 20 years old.

When interviewed by the police watchdog about his claim to have attended Dartmouth, Mr Adderley admitted he had been rejected by the college but said he had written on his CV that he had attended for four years because it showed his "ambition".

Mr Beggs called this response "embarrassing".

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Mr Beggs said that when questioned about having claimed in his application to have worked as a negotiator in Haiti, Mr Adderley said he had in fact written a paper on the subject at the time and that his application had been "poorly worded".

'Enormous exaggerations'

But Mr Beggs told the panel that Mr Adderley's lies were an attempt to build "a military, naval legend that wasn't true".

Mr Adderley's lawyer told the hearing that he denies gross misconduct and refutes the suggestion that he acted without honesty and integrity, but accepts a breach of standards in terms of duties and responsibilities.

Mr Beggs said Mr Adderley had claimed he had been a "Commander or a lieutenant" during his naval career.

But that, in fact, these were "enormous exaggerations" and Mr Adderley was only ever an able seaman before he was discharged after two years of service.

Last year, a press release by Northamptonshire police mentioned Mr Adderley had been in the Navy for a decade, and served in the Falklands war.

'He created the misreporting'

Mr Beggs said Mr Adderley saw a draft of the release and approved it, saying, "Thanks for putting the quote together, this is great, thank you."

Mr Beggs said that Mr Adderley's claims he had "no interest" in his media profile were surprising given he "cooperated" with those very same articles. He also said it was "risible" to suppose Mr Adderley didn't notice the misreporting.

"He created the misreporting."

Mr Adderley is expected to give evidence to the panel this week.

He is also facing potential criminal charges after the police watchdog passed a report to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

The CPS will now have to decide how to proceed.