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Met Police officer sacked after pressuring girlfriend to lie about speeding ticket

Met Police officer sacked after pressuring girlfriend to lie about speeding ticket
The now-dismissed firearms officer guilted his ex to ‘act to her own detriment’

The Metropolitan Police force has dismissed an officer without notice after he was found guilty of perverting the course of justice.

Specialist firearms officer Richard Hammond was sentenced last month to 18 months in prison – suspended for two years – for asking his now ex-girlfriend to take responsibility for his speeding ticket.

The 36-year-old, of West Kensington, was also told to do 250 hours unpaid work, and was told to pay a fine of £2,500 within three months.

The Met Police has confirmed that Hammond has also lost his job.

In the early morning on 26 August 2018, Hammond was driving home from a shift in his then-girlfriend Vicky Courtis’ Fiat 500.

Hammond was caught speeding at 30mph through a 20mph zone on Tower Bridge at 6am.

He was found guilty of asking Courtis to tell police she wasn’t sure who was driving her car, in an attempt to save him from punishment.

Inner London Crown Court had heard that, just over a minute after he had received a prosecution notice, Hammond messaged Courtis requesting she writes to the City of London police to say “you don’t know who was driving”.

Ms Courtis said, according to the Evening Standard: “He said if we say we don’t know who was driving, they would drop the prosecution.

“He said he couldn’t take the points – being a police officer you need a clean record of driving. We had just got back together.

“He was kind of saying, ‘if you love me you will do this’.

Later on, it developed into, ‘you will take the points – if you don’t I will lose my job and it will be your fault’.

“I was trying to prove to him that I did love him and would do that.”

Ms Courtis then reported Hammond to police on Valentine’s Day in 2019 – weeks after their on-off relationship of two years had ended.

Hammond denied the charges but was found guilty at the Royal Courts of Justice on 7 September. On 15 October, Hammond was sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court.

Prosecutor Obi Mgbokwere said: “The defendant initiated a false story.

“The defendant instructed Vicky Courtis to write to the process team and each time she wrote to the process team she sought his approval.

“The prosecution submits that the defendant’s instruction was intended to cause her to act to her own detriment.

“He created an elaborate, false story which he maintained for three years from August 29 2018 until the trial in September of this year.

“He was motivated by a selfish end.”

Defence barrister Benjamin Summers had told the court in September that Hammond’s offence was “a once-in-a-lifetime event” and there was “a realistic prospect of rehabilitation”.

He presented a medical report stating that Hammond suffered post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and was at risk of suicide, adding: “A custodial sentence will make his condition much worse.”

He said Hammond has since married and has a young daughter, and that “by imposing an immediate custodial sentence there will be a harmful impact which is significant – the loss of income and a parent”.

After the trial and sentencing, the Met Police held a misconduct hearing on the 28 October.

The force said that Hammond was alleged to have breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour in relation to discreditable conduct.

The misconduct panel chair, Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball, “considered all of the evidence and found PC Hammond had breached the standards of professional at the level of Gross Misconduct,” a statement says.

Hammond joined the Metropolitan Police in 2011 and became a specialist firearms officer in 2017.