Police officer could be sacked after receiving child abuse video

Scotland Yard’s ‘golden girl’, 54, is potentially facing the sack for gross misconduct after conviction for having child abuse video on her phone that her sister sent her on WhatsApp but she failed to report

  • Supt Novlett Robyn Williams was sent an indecent image over WhatsApp
  • A jury found she did not cover up knowledge of the video to protect her sister
  • She now potentially faces the sack amid an allegation of gross misconduct 
  • Veteran officer has support of National Black Police Association

One of Britain’s most senior black, female police officers is potentially facing the sack after she was convicted for possessing an indecent image of a child.

Superintendent Novlett Robyn Williams was praised as a hero during the Grenfell disaster, but her 34 year policing career could come to an end following her conviction in November.

The experienced officer is in the midst of a gross misconduct hearing after she was sent an unsolicited video of a child being abused in February 2018 by her sister, who wanted the paedophile behind it hunted down and caught.

Superintendent Novlett Robyn Williams, pictured arriving at the Old Bailey for sentencing in November. She was ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid work for possessing an indecent image of a child, now her job as a police officer is under threat 

At her trial in November, a jury accepted Williams never watched the footage, which she received via WhatsApp.

The prosecution accepted she had no sexual interest in children and had never watched the video, while she was acquitted of covering up knowledge about the video to protect her sister. She was however convicted of possessing the video.

She appeared at a misconduct hearing today due to the conviction for possessing the indecent image.

Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball, chairing the special case misconduct hearing, said the allegations say this a ‘conviction of a crime of this nature is disgraceful conduct and a discredit to the police force’.

She added: ‘The appropriate authority has reviewed the case and on the balance of probability says your behaviour amounts to gross misconduct.

‘It says it is in the public interest that you are dismissed as a police officer as your conviction undermines the trust the public has in the force.’

Anne Studd QC, counsel for the appropriate authority, said: ‘It goes without saying that the guidance states that it is unacceptable for police officers who are responsible for upholding the law to break the law themselves.

Supt Novlett Robyn Williams pictured with Mayor of London Sadiq Khan in September 2016. Supt Williams is a founding member of the National Black Police Association

‘Sexual offences, including child pornography, are particularly serious and likely to end a police officer’s career.’

Ms Studd quoted Judge Richard Marks, QC, who sentenced Williams last November.

He said: ‘The fact you did nothing about the video was a grave error on your part.

‘The consequences to you of this conviction will undoubtedly be immense, particularly as far as your employment and your career are concerned.’

Victor Marshall QC, representing Williams, said: ‘Supt Williams has spent her entire working life to date from the age of 18 acting on behalf of the victims of crime and abuse.

‘She is appalled by such imagery and finds it truly abhorrent.

‘The judge publicly said this was a case that does not involve a sexual motivation on the part of the officer at all.

‘Whilst the image had been distributed to 17 people in total Superintendent Williams was the only one who was charged with possession.

‘You’ve heard reference to the co-defendants, who were charged with distribution.

‘While being the only one charged, almost all of the others who received and therefore in possession had actually viewed the video clip. She had not.

‘In terms of the requirement for Superintendent Williams to be on the sex offender’s register, so far as that requirement goes the judge had no discretion in that matter. That was automatic.

‘Even though the prosecutor in the opening statement and the judge in his sentencing agreed and publicly acknowledged that Superintendent Williams had no sexual interest in this at all, she finds herself subject to this requirement.

‘Some might find that illogical.’

Mr Marshall noted the jury acquitted Williams of covering up knowledge about the video to protect her sister.

He added: ‘There is no allegation before you that her honesty and integrity is impugned to the extent that she breached the standards of professional behaviour.

‘What we have is a conviction of one offence of one thumbnail of one indecent image held in her possession for 48 hours two years ago.

‘That is not enough to have a finding of misconduct, let alone gross misconduct.’

Williams was sentenced to 200 hours of community service following her conviction in November, which she has now completed.

She remains on the sex offenders register and is currently on restricted duties, which prevent her from working with the public.

The officer is also appealing against her conviction by majority verdict. The Court of Appeal is yet to decide whether it will hear her case.

She is supported by the National Black Police Association, which she helped to co-found, and the Police Superintendents Association.

Assistant Commissioner Ball said she would rise to consider whether she would find Williams guilty of misconduct, gross misconduct, or neither.

The hearing continues.

Source: Read Full Article