Promising Huddersfield detective sacked for misusing police computer SIX times


Detective Constable Steven O’Connor used the computer to look up details on a family member

A promising detective who was sacked by West Yorkshire Police for misusing the force’s computer has failed in a High Court reinstatement bid.

Detective Constable Steven O’Connor, who was based in Huddersfield , used the computer system to look up details on a member of his family six times.

A disciplinary panel later accepted that he had “no malicious motive”, but still found him guilty of gross misconduct.

It ruled that the searches had not been carried out “for a policing purpose” and, in November 2016, directed his dismissal without notice.

The panel said improper access to the police computer was extremely serious and “carried the risk of compromising criminal proceedings”.

And the “maintenance of public confidence” in the force demanded that Mr O’Connor’s police career be terminated.

The Police Appeals Tribunal later refused to hear his appeal, saying it had “no real prospect of success”.

Mr O’Connor’s lawyers mounted a last-ditch challenge to his dismissal, claiming it was “wrong in law” and “irrational”.

The tribunal had failed to take into account crucial evidence from former colleagues, they argued at the High Court, in Leeds.

But, rejecting the complaint, Judge Andrew Saffman upheld the tribunal’s conclusion that the evidence would not have affected the outcome.

Any suggestion of “bad faith” in connection with the disciplinary investigation was no more than “unsupported conjecture”, he added.

The judge had “some sympathy” with Mr O’Connor but dismissed his appeal.


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