Police inspector “accused retiree of being racist on Facebook, then falsified BNP spreadsheet”

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A police inspector who used information from his force’s computer system to accuse a retiree of being racist on Facebook tried to cover his own tracks by falsely portraying him as a BNP member, a disciplinary panel learned today ‘hui.

Detective Mark Doherty allegedly used the Cleveland Police Niche computer system to glean information on retired officer Alan Hardy.

He allegedly found a document indicating that Mr Hardy had resigned from Bedfordshire Police to avoid dismissal and that he held “extremely racist views”.

It is claimed that he then shared the allegation – which Mr Hardy denies – during a Facebook conversation with another man.

Mr Hardy, who became aware of the conversation, allegedly reported it to the police, prompting officers to question Doherty.

It is alleged that, in an attempt to cover his tracks, Doherty then forged a Wikileaks document from members of the far-right British National Party (BNP) to include Mr Hardy’s name and address.

But a disciplinary hearing heard he was taken by surprise by investigators who said he “did not do a very good job preparing the forged document.”

Doherty denies breaking professional standards of conduct and passing on restricted information and is currently participating in a disciplinary hearing.

He alleged he found a document showing that Mr Hardy (pictured) had resigned from Bedfordshire Police to avoid being sacked and that he had

Detective Mark Doherty allegedly used the Cleveland Police Niche computer system to glean information on retired officer Alan Hardy. He alleged that he found a document indicating that Mr Hardy had resigned from Bedfordshire Police to avoid dismissal and that he held “extremely racist views”. It is claimed that he then shared the allegation – which Mr Hardy denies – during a Facebook conversation with another man.

The disciplinary panel learned that Doherty arrested Mr Hardy in 2015 at Stockton Police Station.

He described Mr Hardy, a former officer, as acting “like a mad dog” and said the arrest – for a matter that was not disclosed at the hearing – was a proportionate response.

However, Mr Hardy brought a civil action against the Cleveland Police Chief, claiming the arrest was unlawful.

The case was intended to be heard in county court and Inspector Doherty was reportedly a key witness in the case.

The hearing heard that in September 2018, in the midst of a civil matter between Mr. Hardy and his forces, Doherty had accessed police computer systems to find information on him.

Doherty, who was in regular contact with the force attorney about the proceedings, searched the police Niche computer system for about half an hour for any intelligence files on Mr. Hardy, the panel learned. .

During the search he allegedly uncovered a document indicating Mr Hardy had resigned from Bedfordshire Police to avoid dismissal and had “extremely racist views” – a claim Mr Hardy denies.

Doherty then allegedly repeated this information in a Facebook conversation he had with another man two months later.

Doherty (pictured), who was in regular contact with the force attorney about the proceedings, searched the Police Niche computer system for about half an hour for any intelligence files on Mr. Hardy, said heard the panel.

Doherty (pictured), who was in regular contact with the force attorney about the proceedings, searched the Police Niche computer system for about half an hour for any intelligence files on Mr. Hardy, said heard the panel.

In his messages, Doherty reportedly wrote: ‘You know he’s a former cop who was kicked out of Bedfordshire Police for being racist? This is not police information, it is a request for FAITH.

The disciplinary panel learned how furious Mr. Hardy was when he discovered the conversation and filed a formal complaint against the inspector.

But it is claimed that, in an attempt to clear his name, Doherty produced a spreadsheet which he said he found on Wikileaks while searching for the “deep web”.

On it were the names of BNP members, their addresses and professions – with Mr Hardy’s contact details appearing in the list.

But investigators from the Cleveland Professional Standards Unit found Inspector Doherty himself added the name by hand, it was learned at the hearing.

Stephen Morley, representing the Cleveland Police Department, told the hearing: “There came a crop because he didn’t do a very good job preparing this forged document.”

The spreadsheet rows did not line up, the quotes on the spoofed entry were missing, and Inspector Doherty added an address for Mr. Hardy that he did not live in when the spreadsheet was produced, we learned at the hearing.

Panel members learned that the alleged deception was considered so serious that he was arrested, his home searched and his electronic equipment seized.

He couldn’t explain how he got to the spreadsheet and allegedly claimed he shredded and burned the hard copy in a burner in his backyard and deleted the electronic version from a USB drive.

Mr Morley told the panel: “He is an experienced police officer who understands the importance of preserving evidence.

“But he says he burned the hard copy of that spreadsheet in his backyard and somehow deleted or lost the soft copy from a USB drive. Why?

“These are not the actions of an honest officer, but of a dishonest officer trying to hide the creation of a false document.

“He tried to get out of a hole. The only explanation, we say, is that he thought it was a good breath to get out of the investigation he was the subject of.

“We say this is the most likely explanation on the balance of probabilities, there is no other reasonable explanation.”

Mr. Hardy requested to testify at the hearing, but the panel decided that his testimony was unnecessary.

Cleveland Professional Standards Unit investigators (Photo: Cleveland Police Headquarters Library Image) found Inspector Doherty himself added the name by hand, the hearing said

Cleveland Professional Standards Unit investigators (Photo: Cleveland Police Headquarters Library Image) found Inspector Doherty himself added the name by hand, the hearing said

He firmly denies being a racist and resigning to avoid being fired, saying he did so because he was disillusioned by the force.

Inspector Doherty denies having violated the standards of professional behavior relating to authority, respect and courtesy, confidentiality, orders and instructions and reprehensible conduct.

He denies both charges of transmitting restricted information and presenting a tampered document to standards and ethics investigators on his own strength.

The hearing is scheduled to end on Friday. MailOnline has contacted Cleveland Police for comment.


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