Veteran police officer Robyn Williams, 56, will be allowed to return to work after a decision to axe her from the Metropolitan Police was overturned by a panel on the 16th of June.
Ms Williams was struck off and sentenced to 200 hours of community service after she was found in possession of a video depicting child abuse in November 2019. A special disciplinary hearing had previously found that her actions amounted to “gross misconduct”.
The appeal was upheld by a panel, who ruled that the officer should have been issued with a written warning instead of immediate dismissal. The Police Superintendents’ Association said that the decision taken by the Metropolitan Police was both “unreasonable” and “unfair.”
The trial at the Old Bailey also concluded that Ms. Williams had received the indecent video from her older sister, Jennifer Hodge. She herself had received the video from her long-term boyfriend, 63-year-old Dido Massivi. It is unknown why the material was passed on to the officer. However, the court ruled that she had not viewed the material, but was not unaware that it was on her phone.
Gerard Boyle QC, defending, reminded the court that the officer was a highly decorated and distinguished member of the force. Williams was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in 2003 for her service.
Ms Williams issued a statement following the verdict: “I am extremely pleased with today’s outcome and would like to thank the members of the panel for their decision, Gerard for continually fighting my case, and for the countless people within policing and beyond, including representatives of the Police Superintendents’ Association, who have supported me throughout.”
The Metropolitan Police have responded to the result, saying that they will await the full judgement before making any decisions. The judgement is expected to be published by the court within 10 days.