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Former Met detective barred from policing after relationship with abuse victim

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A

n ex-Metropolitan Police detective who formed an inappropriate relationship with a domestic abuse victim would have been sacked if he was still serving, the force said.

The Met said Joseph Gilligan, a former detective constable, also shared confidential information and accessed police records without authorisation.

The force said his behaviour was “completely unacceptable”, adding people like Mr Gilligan are “not welcome” in the Met.

Among the allegations he faced was failing to report a road collision in which he was involved while driving, and apparently after he had been drinking.

His actions fell far below the rigorous values and standards that we strive to uphold

The Met said a hearing on Friday was told Mr Gilligan was put in charge of an investigation where a woman accused her former partner of domestic abuse on March 26, 2019.

On June 20, Mr Gilligan started an improper sexual relationship with the victim, the Met claimed.

The force added that later that year he shared sensitive images and footage with the victim from a serious sexual assault investigation he was dealing with.

According to the Met, the disciplinary hearing was told that between January 4 2020 and February 11 2020, he carried out four unauthorised searches in relation to the victim and her former partner.

He also forwarded confidential police emails to his personal account and accessed the victim’s mobile phone on three occasions without her consent.

The Met also said the hearing was told that on November 29 2019 Mr Gilligan crashed his car into a vehicle in a police station car park.

At the time of the collision it is alleged he was over the drink-drive limit and failed to report the collision when it happened.

Instead, according to the Met, he made a report the following day and said the collision happened because he had suffered a diabetic episode.

The Met said independent chairman Cameron Brown and panel members found that the allegations against the former detective constable were proven to have breached the standards of professional behaviour in relation to discreditable conduct, confidentiality, honesty and integrity, and authority, respect and courtesy at a level of gross misconduct.

He would have been dismissed without notice had he still been a serving officer, the Met said.

Mr Gilligan resigned from the Met in February 2021.

The hearing followed an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

Chief Superintendent Sara Leach, who is in charge of policing for the North West Area Basic Command Unit, said: “Former DC Gilligan’s behaviour was completely unacceptable and I am pleased that he is no longer a serving officer – people like him are not welcome in our Met.

“His actions fell far below the rigorous values and standards that we strive to uphold.

“Officers should be doing everything in their power to protect victims, they should not be abusing their position of trust and power to form relationships with them.

“The trust of the public is fundamental to our core purpose of keeping London safe.”

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