Taxi threats cop's career in tatters
http://www.burtonmail.co.uk/burtonmail/ ... ?id=476030
THE CAREER of a senior police officer from South Derbyshire is in ruins today following his conviction for threatening a taxi driver.
Detective Inspector Gary Tomlinson, from Hartshorne, faces a disciplinary inquiry by Derbyshire Constabulary after being found guilty of using threatening words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.
However, father of five Tomlinson, 47, was cleared of an additional charge of racially abusing taxi driver Mohammed Anwar in a row over the fare home after a night out in Derby to celebrate his imminent promotion to Detective Chief Inspector.
Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court heard that Tomlinson, a police officer for 21 years and the former head of Special Branch in Derbyshire, had been stripped of his promotion and suspended from his job after the incident in Hartshorne on July 31 last year.
District Judge Morris Cooper told Tomlinson: “How sad it is that a man who has had such an impeccable police career should find himself in the position that you do after what had been a happy celebration and at a stage in your life where everything seemed to be rosy.
“It would be wrong to disregard the devastating impact that this has had on your personal life and your professional career.”
The court heard that Tomlinson had drunk several pints of bitter, half a glass of champagne and two lagers during a night out with colleagues when he allegedly insulted Mr Anwar, who accused him of failing to pay the last 90p of his fare.
The taxi driver claimed Tomlinson had called him ‘a lying P*** b******’ but the charge of racial harassment was dismissed after the judge said there were ‘a number of inconsistencies’ in Mr Anwar’s evidence.
He told Tomlinson: “In the spectrum of criminal offences both these charges are towards the lower end, but in this context they are extremely serious matters from a professional point of view.
“It is important in a case of this nature for any court to remind itself that the rule of law must stand and that a defendant, whatever his role or job in society, can be treated equally.”
Tomlinson was handed a conditional discharge and ordered to pay £250 prosecution costs.
He declined to comment after leaving court but his lawyer, Jonathan Taafe, said: “Given the findings of the judge this matter should have been dealt with without the need for the court process.”
Speaking after the hearing, Deputy Chief Constable Alan Goodwin said Tomlinson’s position with the force would be reviewed as a result of his conviction.
He said: “Derbyshire Constabulary will not tolerate criminal conduct of any kind by any of its employees.
“I am disappointed that a senior police officer of this force saw fit to conduct himself in such an unacceptable way that resulted in today’s guilty verdict but his prosecution should reassure the public that any allegation of criminal conduct is taken very seriously and will be investigated thoroughly.”