An inspector from police tried to use information in his computer system to charge a pensioner with being racist on Facebook. However, this was not true. A disciplinary panel heard that the officer falsely claimed that he was a BNP member.
In order to find information about Alan Hardy, retired Cleveland Police Officer Mark Doherty may have used Cleveland Police’s “Niche” computer network.
A record that stated that Hardy had resigned as a Bedfordshire Police officer to prevent him being fired and that Hardy was expressing ‘extremely racial views’ is what he found, it’s claimed.
He allegedly shared this allegation with another man in a Facebook chat.
According to reports, Mr Hardy was aware of the conversation and reported it to police. This led to officers questioning Doherty.
Doherty, it is claimed, falsified Wikileaks records of British National Party (BNP members) in order to conceal his identity. This document included Mr Hardy’s name as well as address.
A disciplinary hearing revealed that he was also caught by the investigating officers, who claimed he hadn’t done a good job in preparing false documents.
Doherty denies breaching the standards of professional behaviour and passing on restricted information and is currently taking part in a disciplinary hearing.
In order to find out about Alan Hardy, retired officer with Cleveland Police, Mark Doherty may have used the “Niche” computer program. According to him, he found evidence that Hardy had left Bedfordshire Police in order not to be dismissed. He also claimed that Hardy held “extremely racist” views. The allegation is said that Hardy then discussed the matter with another person on Facebook.
A disciplinary panel was informed that Doherty had arrested Mr Hardy at Stockton’s police station in 2015.
The former officer Mr. Hardy was described as acting “like a mad puppy” and he said that the arrest, over an unresolved matter, was a reasonable response.
But Mr Hardy filed a civil suit against Chief Constable Cleveland Police alleging that the arrest was illegal.
The matter was destined to be heard in County Court and Inspector Doherty would have been a key witness in the case.
At the hearing, it was revealed that Doherty used police computers in September 2018 to access intelligence information regarding him. This happened in middle of a civil lawsuit between Mr Hardy (his force) and Mr Hardy.
Doherty had been in constant contact regarding proceedings with the force attorney. The panel was told that Doherty searched approximately 30 minutes on the police Niche computer for intelligence records about Mr Hardy.
During the search he is said to have discovered a record stating Mr Hardy had resigned from Bedfordshire Police to avoid being dismissed and that he held ‘extremely racist views’ – a claim Mr Hardy denies.
Doherty was then accused of repeating that information in an alleged Facebook conversation with another man two-months later.
Doherty (pictured), who kept in touch with the force attorney about proceedings, looked for intelligence records for Mr Hardy on the police Niche computer, for roughly half an hour. The panel heard that Doherty
Doherty seems to have posted: “You know that he is an Ex-cop who got kicked out of Bedfordshire Police because of being Racist? It is not police information. This request is for FOI.
After Mr Hardy discovered that the conversation was taking place, the disciplinary panel made a formal complaint to the inspector.
However, it has been claimed that Doherty created a spreadsheet in an effort to get rid of his reputation. He said he found the spreadsheet on Wikileaks after searching for the “deep web”.
It contained the names, addresses, and occupations of members of the BNP. Mr Hardy’s information was also included.
However, Cleveland’s professionals standards unit officers discovered that Inspector Doherty had made a hash of adding the name. The hearing was held.
Stephen Morley representing Cleveland Police said that he was a “cropper” because he didn’t do a good job in preparing the false document.
It was not possible to line up the rows on the spreadsheet. Inverted commas were also missing from the fake entry. Inspector Doherty then added an address for Mr Hardy, which he didn’t live at the time the spreadsheet was created. The hearing was held.
Panelists were informed how his alleged deceit was so grave that he was taken into custody, searched at home and all electronic devices seized.
It was unclear how he got the spreadsheet. However, he claimed that he had shrunk and burned the hard copy of the document in his backyard and then deleted the electronic version on a USB stick.
Morley said to the panel, “This officer is experienced and understands how important it is to preserve evidence.”
“But he said that he had burned the sheet of spreadsheet and lost it in the garden. Why?
These aren’t the actions of an honest officer. They were made by a dishonest officer to conceal the making of a false document.
“He tried to dig himself out from a hole. Our only theory is that he felt it was an excuse to escape the investigation.
“We believe that this is the best explanation according to the odds, and there’s no better explanation.”
The panel denied Mr Hardy’s request to testify at the hearing.
Cleveland Police Department’s professional standards team discovered that Inspector Doherty had accidentally added the name to his own investigation. The hearing was recorded
He insists that he is not a racist.
Inspector Doherty claims that he did not violate the professional conduct standards for authority, respect and politeness, confidentiality, orders, instructions, and discreditable conduct.
He denied the charges of transmitting restricted information to his fellow officers and showing an altered document to ethics and standards investigators.
According to all indications, the hearing will end on Friday. MailOnline reached Cleveland Police to obtain comment.