By JR on Sunday, October 30, 2011
Readers of literary classics may be remninded by the story below of "The N*gger of the 'Narcissus' " by Joseph Conrad
A senior Metropolitan Police officer forced to resign in the wake of the phone hacking scandal was racist and homophobic, an employment tribunal heard today. Assistant Commissioner John Yates, due to formally step down in November, was allegedly 'extremely brief' when dealing with the case of a black, gay officer who was off sick with depression.
Detective Constable Kevin Maxwell, who is suing the force based on claims he was bullied due to his race and sexuality, wanted discretion to keep his £40,000-a-year salary longer than the normal six month period.
However, Mr Yates refused to grant him the special treatment, usually reserved for hero officers injured in the line of duty, traumatised child abuse investigators and the terminally ill.
Kweku Aggrey-Orleans, representing Detective Constable Maxwell, told Mr Yates: 'I suggest that you dealt with Mr Maxwell's application for an extension of pay extremely briefly and without properly considering it because you knew that he had raised allegations of racism and homophobia.'
Mr Yates replied: 'No that's complete nonsense. I gave very careful consideration to this. 'I was very concerned about Kevin, very concerned about his well being.'
Mr Aggery continued: 'And also that you dealt with the appeal extremely briefly because Kevin was black and gay.' Mr Yates replied: 'That doesn't merit an answer but it's absolute nonsense.'
Detective Constable Maxwell claims he was bullied by colleagues at Heathrow Airport and witnessed racism while on duty. He claims a colleague refused to eat a curry on a trip to a mosque aimed at building community relations because 'they would have spat in it', and said fellow officers did not like being lectured to by imams.
However, Mr Yates said it was not his responsibility to deal with issues related to Detective Constable Maxwell's claims he was off sick because he was discriminated against at work.
Mr Yates said in written evidence to the tribunal: 'I did not reject Detective Constable Maxwell's appeal on the ground of his race or his sexual orientation. 'I rejected his appeal because his case did not meet the criteria. 'I have declined to extend the full pay of other officers who did not meet the criteria.'
The tribunal heard how Detective Constable Maxwell was offered any job he liked as senior Metropolitan Police officers were left 'bending over backwards' trying to get him back to work. He was told he could move to a different part of London where he would never see the officers who he worked with at Heathrow Airport again.
However, he turned down the offer and the tribunal heard how he wanted the Met. to address his concerns about racism and homophobia, rather than simply moving him elsewhere.
Detective Inspector Ajoy Gosain, his welfare officer, said: 'When I met Det. Chief Insp. D'Orsi we discussed the issue of identifying a suitable post for Detective Constable Maxwell to return to. 'I thought that Detective Chief Inspector D'Orsi was taking a genuine and generous approach towards Kevin Maxwell in that regard. I felt he was bending over backwards to try to assist Detective Constable Maxwell in getting back to work.
'In that he had such an open ended offer, Detective Constable Maxwell was in a favourable position.'
Detective Inspector Gosain, a former president of the Kent Black Police Association, described how he met the officer in June 2010 to try and convince him to return to work. 'The following day Detective Constable Maxwell emailed me to say that he didn't feel he could return and to ask me not to raise the issue of returning again. 'I was deeply disappointed with Detective Constable Maxwell's reaction.
'I had genuinely tried to help get him back to work in any way possible and I was disappointed that he seemed to totally dismiss what I had been saying.'
Detective Constable Maxwell, of Wilmington Square, London, is facing dismissal from the force under the Unsatisfactory Performance Procedure after being off sick since July 2009.
He said he developed depression after being bullied at work due to his race and sexual orientation. He had worked his way up to Detective Constable after first joining the Greater Manchester Police in 2001. He transferred to the Met Police in October 2008.