31 Jul 2015

Scotland Yard sergeant cleared of child sex charges

Senior Home Affairs Correspondent

A retired police sergeant cleared of racially and sexually abusing a teenager 29 years ago has called on the Metropolitan Police to “stop targeting me and my family”.

A retired Metropolitan police sergeant, who won a series of race discrimination claims against the force, has been cleared of racially and sexually abusing a teenager 29 years ago.

In his summing up, the judge at Southwark Court said a conspiracy against Gurpal Virdi may be what this case was all about.

The jury found Mr Virdi not guilty of beating up a 16 year old in the back of a police van, calling him a n****r and indecently assaulting him with a police baton in 1986.

It was alleged he also swung the boy around by his handcuffs, hitting every inside panel of the van.

The alleged victim, now 44, claimed the officer used a collapsible police truncheon on him but the jury was told the weapon was not issued to officers until the 1990s.

Speaking with Channel 4 News outside the court, Mr Virdi called for the Metropolitan Police to “learn lessons”.

“It is disturbing that the Met Police is still campaigning and targeting me and my family year after year,” he said. “This has to stop.”

Criticising what he called the combination of “conspiracy” and “incompetence”, Mr Virdi said he was targeted as he was “the only one who stands up and fights racism”.

“The IPCC is not independent. It’s a ridiculous state of affairs,” he said. “How is the public going to have trust in the judicial system or the police?”

Mr Virdi was selected as a Labour local election candidate in Hounslow, West London in 2013. He was subsequently accused of indecently assaulting a boy in custody a year later. The party suspended him and he won standing as an independent.

He has always described the case again him as malicious and alleged that Scotland Yard had hounded him for making a stand against officers his said were racist.

Channel 4 News understands the Independent Police Complaints Commission will be asked to investigate claims that he was the victim of a Metropolitan Police conspiracy.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Fiona Taylor, Directorate of Professional Standards at the Met Police, said: “Once allegations such as these were raised by the victim it was only right that we investigated them thoroughly and then impartially.

“That investigation was entirely focused on securing what evidence was available with respect to what were undeniably very serious allegations. It would not have been proper to proceed in any other way.

“We presented the evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service who decided the allegations and evidence should be heard by a jury.”