Police chief sacked after falsely claiming to be Falklands veteran to get job

Nick Adderley has been dismissed without notice after allegations against him were found proven by a panel (Picture: PA)

A top police officer who lied about serving in the Falklands War has been sacked after he was found to have committed gross misconduct.

Nick Adderley came up with a raft of lies about his military record as part of his application to become the chief constable of Northamptonshire Police in 2018.

He exaggerated his own rank, length of service and naval achievements but had been on full pay since his suspension in October last year after the allegations came to light.

Mr Adderley wore a fake South Atlantic medal issued to Falklands War veterans on his uniform, despite the fact he was only 15 when the conflict broke out in 1982. 

The panel, chaired by Callum Cowx who served in the Royal Navy, British Army and the police, found all allegations against him proven after a five day hearing.

They found his ‘audacity to be quite staggering’ and that he lied for many years with ‘arrogant temerity’.

He was dismissed without notice and placed on the police barred list by the panel, which said his ‘sustained brazen dishonesty and sustained lack of integrity will cause lasting harm to the police service’. He has 10 days to appeal against the decision.

Nick Adderley lied on his application form when gunning for the top job with Northamptonshire Police (Picture: Jacob King/PA Wire)

Nick Adderley’s web of lies 

The hearing previously heard how Mr Adderley lied on his CV and application form when he put himself forward for the role of chief constable.

Among the many lies, he claimed he’d served in the Royal Navy for 10 years, when he’d only served for two – and included his service with the Sea Cadets from the age of 10 in his calculations.

Despite being rejected from the Britannia Royal Naval College, Mr Adderley told hirers he’d attended for four years.

He also said he’d been a military negotiator in Haiti – but in reality has never even set foot in the country. 

Mr Adderley claimed he’d made it to the rank of ‘commander or lieutenant’, however only achieved the rank of able seaman. 

Fake Falklands medal 

Mr Adderley was pictured wearing a South Atlantic medal (far left of the five) which turned out to be fake (Picture: PA Wire)

The medal Mr Adderley was pictured wearing since at least 2012 was ‘110%’ fake, a Ministry of Defence expert found.

He had previously said the medal was given to him by his brother Richard when he left to go and live in Australia in 2008. 

But the panel heard how Mr Adderley told a ‘pack of lies’ about his brother’s Falklands service.

John Beggs KC, who was representing the Office of the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (OPFCC), said Richard Adderley did not arrive in the Falklands until July 2, 1982 – around three weeks after fighting had stopped.

John Beggs KC said Mr Adderley’s lies were an attempt to build a ‘military, naval legend that wasn’t true’ (Picture: PA)

Mr Beggs said his lies were an attempt to build a ‘military, naval legend that wasn’t true’ and that media reports of ‘stolen valour’ were not exaggerated.

Mr Cowx said: ‘Mr Beggs described his actions as stolen valour and that’s precisely what it is – by wearing medals he was not entitled to wear, he stole their richly deserved valour and recognition and his explanation was risible.

‘He knew he was not entitled to wear the medals. Of further concern is that he involved his brothers to the extent that they gave him medals to wear that he had not earned.

‘Richard Adderley is, or was, a police officer, yet he too has lied freely to deflect attention from his brother.’

Panel chair Callum Cowx questioned how Mr Adderley was hired and that his lies were not picked up during the vetting process (Picture: PA)

Mr Cowx added that ‘alarm bells should have rung’ when he applied for the chief constable job and questioned why nobody who was vetting applicants picked up on the inaccuracies. 

Mr Adderley did not attend the final day of the hearing but issued a ‘heartfelt apology’ that was read out and expressed ‘deep regret’ that his 32-year career was now over.

The IOPC said the panel’s findings show that Mr Adderley’s conduct had ‘fallen well below the professional standards of any police officer, never mind a chief constable’.

Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Danielle Stone said: ‘This case has put Northamptonshire Police in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. 

‘We now need to set out to restore a reputation for honesty and integrity, which are fundamental values.

‘Police officers are held to very high standards and the expectation of police leaders is even higher – it is their duty to set the tone for the rest of the organisation.

‘Failing to uphold these standards is incredibly serious and damaging to public confidence in our police officers who do excellent work, day after day, to keep the public safe.

‘We will now work hard to rebuild that reputation for honesty and integrity and earn the confidence of the public.’

Acting chief constable Ivan Balhatchet said: ‘The unprecedented nature of what has happened today should not reflect on the dedication and commitment shown by Northamptonshire Police officers and staff.

‘No police officer is above independent scrutiny of their actions and when someone falls short of the standards expected of them, they will be accountable.’

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