News Walthamstow

Walthamstow woman takes Met to court after creepy cop let off with warning

Last year, the high-ranking officer who sexually harassed Kristina O’Connor was let off with only a written warning

Kristina O’Connor (credit: Hodge Jones and Allen)

A Walthamstow woman took the Metropolitan Police to court today after a high-ranking officer who sexually harassed her received only a written warning.

Kristina O’Connor met former Detective Chief Inspector James Mason in 2011, when she reported being assaulted by a group of young men in Camden.

As she tried to provide details of the incident, James asked her “deeply personal questions with a heavy sexual overtone” and later sent her multiple emails asking her out, at one point adding that rejecting him would be “frowned upon”.

Kristina’s complaint about his behaviour finally appeared before a police misconduct panel last year, which found he had committed eight counts of misconduct but only gave him a written warning. He has since resigned from the force.

Kristina previously won the right to challenge the Met’s decision not to impose a more serious sanction in the High Court with the help of law firm Hodge, Jones and Allen and the Good Law Project.

Tamara Walters, from the Good Law Project, said: “Women should never be subjected to sexual advances by police officers. We hope this case will ensure the Met follows full and proper disciplinary procedures when officers abuse their position and tackles the endemic misogyny that exists in the force.”

Nancy Collins, from Hodge, Jones and Allen, added: “It is important to recognise the bravery of our client in seeking to challenge the failures in the process to ensure greater accountability and enforced protection for victims of police-perpetrated harassment.”

The hearing began today and is expected to continue tomorrow.