Chief constable who lied about naval rank dismissed

Nick Adderley
Nick Adderley has been found guilty of gross misconduct [BBC]

A chief constable who lied and exaggerated his naval rank, length of service and achievements has been dismissed for gross misconduct.

Nick Adderley, of Northamptonshire Police, claimed he had reached the rank of lieutenant in the military and that he was a military negotiator in Haiti in the 1980s.

A three-person panel upheld all the allegations against him following a five-day gross misconduct hearing.

Mr Adderley said one of the most painful aspects of the case was “the hurt that I have caused to veterans of the armed forces… as I come from a very proud family of veterans.”

Nick Adderley with short dark hair in a police uniform
Mr Adderley faced a disciplinary after claims emerged that he wore medals he was not entitled to display [BBC]

Mr Adderley had been suspended on his full salary of £176,550 per year since last October.

As well as being dismissed without notice, he was also placed on the barred police list.

He said the guilty decision had brought an “end my career of over 32 years as a police officer… something that I deeply regret, a regret that I will carry with me for the rest of my life”.

He added: “I also regret that I will no longer be with you in the future, as the challenges of policing get ever more complex, but please be under no illusion; I will be cheering you all on from the sidelines."

Northamptonshire Police said it would work hard to rebuild public trust and confidence after the dismissal of Mr Adderley.

"This case has put Northamptonshire Police in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons," Northamptonshire police, fire and crime commissioner Danielle Stone said.

"We now need to set out to restore a reputation for honesty and integrity, which are fundamental values."

The allegations came to light when doubt was cast over the Falklands War medal that Mr Adderley had worn on his uniform since 2009, despite only being 15 at the time of the conflict.

He denied gross misconduct and that he acted "without honesty and integrity".

On Thursday the gross misconduct hearing was told that "lies are flowing" from the mouth of Northamptonshire's top police officer.

In his closing statement, John Beggs KC said Mr Adderley had lied about reaching the rank of lieutenant in the military and that he was a military negotiator in Haiti in the 1980s.

Mr Beggs told the panel the South Atlantic Medal, which Mr Adderley claimed was gifted from his older brother, was "bogus" and was not applied for until October 2023.

Mr Beggs said: "Whichever way you analyse it, lies are flowing from his mouth."

'Quite staggering audacity'

In September 2023, it came to light that a member of the public had contacted the then Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Stephen Mold, to complain about Mr Adderley's wearing of medals and military service record.

The complaint was referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), which began an investigation.

Mr Adderley issued a statement saying his brothers had given him their medals to wear when one became critically ill, and the other emigrated.

Nick Adderley
The misconduct hearing heard the South Atlantic Medal worn by Mr Adderley was deemed "110%" fake by a Ministry of Defence medal expert [BBC]

In October, Mr Adderley was suspended and the IOPC warned him "in a criminal letter that we are examining possible offences of misconduct in public office and fraud by false representation".

He was also served with a gross misconduct notice.

The misconduct hearing, which Mr Adderley did not attend, heard he "built military naval legend that wasn't true".

It was said they found "his audacity to be quite staggering", and added that he had lied over many years with "arrogant temerity".

The panel, chaired by Callum Cowx, who served in the Royal Navy, the Army and the police, found all allegations against Mr Adderley proven.

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