In a recent hearing before Mr Justice Swift at the High Court, shocking allegations have emerged about the conduct of James Mason, a former Metropolitan Police detective chief inspector. Mason, who had previously faced accusations of sending inappropriate messages to Kristina O’Connor, daughter of the late entertainer Des O’Connor, is now facing claims of habitual misconduct during his time in the police force.
The case revolves around Ms. O’Connor, who, in 2011, reported an attempted robbery and subsequently received numerous inappropriate messages from Mason, including an email where he referred to her as “amazingly hot”. This incident led to a complaint, resulting in a gross misconduct finding by a police misconduct panel, and Mason received a final written warning before his resignation from the Metropolitan Police in 2022.
However, Ms. O’Connor’s legal team asserts that the police force inadequately investigated Mason’s behavior. They claim that the misconduct panel failed to address what they describe as Mason’s “predatory and abusive” actions. These allegations gained further traction when a senior female police officer, who had worked under Mason’s command over a decade ago, came forward with her own account of his inappropriate behavior. According to the officer, Mason frequently made inappropriate comments, demonstrating an undue interest in female police officers’ appearances and was observed behaving like a “wolf” in the office environment.
During the recent court hearing, Barrister Fiona Murphy KC, representing Ms. O’Connor, highlighted these new allegations. She argued that the officer’s testimony indicated a pattern of misconduct by Mason, contrary to his claims that his behavior towards Ms. O’Connor was a one-time occurrence. Ms. O’Connor’s legal team insists that these additional claims should be taken into account when assessing the handling of her original complaint against Mason.
However, lawyers representing the police force maintain that these new allegations should not affect the decisions Mr. Justice Swift must make following the trial. They assert that the core issues under consideration remain unchanged, irrespective of the officer’s claims.
The case shines a spotlight on the crucial need for a thorough and unbiased investigation into complaints of police misconduct. As the legal proceedings continue, it remains to be seen how these recent revelations will impact the final ruling in this troubling case.