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2 months ago

Met police chief embroiled in VIP paedophile scandal could be prosecuted – Daily Mail

A Scotland Yard chief embroiled in the VIP paedophile scandal could be criminally prosecuted after evidence he allegedly sought to undermine a bullying probe was handed to the Crown Prosecution Service, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Matt Horne, who is the Metropolitan Police’s head of professional standards, is being investigated over claims that he illegally accessed confidential information in connection with an investigation that he bullied a fellow officer.

A dossier has been passed to prosecutors following an almost three year investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). The CPS had yet to decide whether to bring charges.

Mr Horne recently emerged as a key figure in the row over the Met’s mishandling of the Operation Midland child sex abuse investigation which led to a string of high-profile figures being wrongly accused of sex crimes on the word of serial fantasist Carl Beech.

Matt Horne, who is the Metropolitan Police’s head of professional standards, is being investigated over claims that he illegally accessed confidential information in connection with an investigation that he bullied a fellow officer

Matt Horne, who is the Metropolitan Police’s head of professional standards, is being investigated over claims that he illegally accessed confidential information in connection with an investigation that he bullied a fellow officer

Tasked with overseeing what information from a coruscating review into Operation Midland by retired judge Sir Richard Henriques should be released to the public, he exchanged emails with Met Deputy Commissioner Sir Stephen House in October 2019 discussing how to insulate their boss Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick from criticism.

Scotland Yard and the IOPC are facing questions over why Horne continued to oversee disciplinary procedures more than a year after the police watchdog began investigating his conduct.

The IOPC probe examined claims that Mr Horne, 51, accessed confidential information as part of a disciplinary case into his bullying of fellow officers in 2015 and 2016. He was alleged to have behaved inappropriately while Assistant Chief Constable at Essex Police and was found guilty of three counts of misconduct at an internal tribunal in 2018.

It recently emerged he was a key figure in the row over the Met’s mishandling of the Operation Midland child sex abuse investigation which led to a string of high-profile figures being wrongly accused of sex crimes on the word of serial fantasist Carl Beech (pictured)

It recently emerged he was a key figure in the row over the Met’s mishandling of the Operation Midland child sex abuse investigation which led to a string of high-profile figures being wrongly accused of sex crimes on the word of serial fantasist Carl Beech (pictured)

After that ruling, fresh allegations were made that he had illegally accessed private information with the help of another officer. Mr Horne is understood to have been placed on restricted duties some time after October 2019.

An IOPC spokesman last night confirmed: ‘We have referred a file of evidence to the CPS to consider potential criminal charges over allegations that two senior officers wrongly accessed and shared confidential information.’

In a statement, Mr Horne said: ‘Police officers are rightly accountable for their actions and I have co-operated fully with the IOPC investigation and will continue to do so.’

He exchanged emails with Met Deputy Commissioner Sir Stephen House (pictured) in October 2019 discussing how to insulate their boss Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick from criticism over the scandal

He exchanged emails with Met Deputy Commissioner Sir Stephen House (pictured) in October 2019 discussing how to insulate their boss Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick from criticism over the scandal

A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said: ‘DAC Horne remains in his post but his duties are restricted in a way that is appropriate to the allegations made.’

The bungled VIP paedophile ring inquiry has become one of the Met’s biggest scandals, yet Scotland has resisted calls for the senior officers involved to face disciplinary action.

Dame Cressida, who oversaw the officer who infamously described Beech’s false allegations as ‘credible and true’, has herself been referred to the IOPC over Operation Midland. Beech is serving an 18-year prison term for perverting the course of justice, fraud and child sex offences.

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