Ex-Beds Police superintendent resigns ahead of dismissal after lying about affair

An ex-police superintendent jumped before he was pushed after committing gross misconduct by lying to senior officers about an affair with a colleague.

Nick Lyall, 46, resigned from Bedfordshire Police last month following the three-week misconduct hearing at Wyboston in September (see story here).

Panel chairman Lyndsey de Mestre QC said today (Monday) that Mr Lyall would have been dismissed without notice had he not already left the force.

During the original hearing, the panel was told Mr Lyall was asked about an affair with a female colleague in a meeting with senior officers.

Beds Police headquarters at Kempston; (inset) Ex-Supt Nick Lyall

He initially denied the relationship, and went on to repeat the lie to a further two senior officers in the following days. He later admitted the relationship and said he had lied because he panicked when questioned.

While the relationship was not deemed inappropriate by the misconduct panel, they concluded that the lies each breached the standards of behaviour for honesty, integrity and discreditable conduct, which amounted to gross misconduct.

In addition, Mr Lyall was found to have exchanged around 3,500 messages with the woman using his police smartphone, and many of the messages were of a sexual nature.

The panel heard he had wiped the phone in a bid to cover up these communications.

This was found to be discreditable conduct, which amounted to gross misconduct. The panel found each breach would have amounted to dismissal for gross misconduct – cumulatively and on their own merit

A further two charges were dismissed during the hearing.

Temporary assistant chief constable Sharn Basra said: “Integrity is imperative in policing as the public expect our officers to be honest and trustworthy in everything they do. We also have a duty of care to protect our officers and staff from those who might seek to abuse their own rank or position of authority, which is why the initial allegations were taken so seriously and an investigation was launched.

"That investigation has shown Mr Lyall’s behaviour fell well short of the standards we expect, particularly from one of our senior leaders, and the panel had little option but to recommend a sanction of immediate dismissal.”