Des O’Connor’s daughter loses court battle after detective called her ‘amazingly hot’

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By usawebstories

The daughter of the late entertainer Des O’Connor has lost a High Court battle with the Metropolitan Police after a detective called her “amazingly hot”.

Kristina O’Connor challenged the force’s disciplinary process after James Mason made “inappropriate” remarks when responding to an attempted robbery call in October 2011.

Ms O’Connor was interviewed by Mr Mason after she was attacked by a gang who attempted to steal her phone in London.

She claimed that he asked “invasive” questions with “sexual overtones” and she was then sent several inappropriate messages by Mr Mason, a court heard.

In one message, he said: “If you ever fancy having a drink with a very discreet police officer, just let me know, it would be my pleasure.

“If you have any visible injuries that you would like me to record then I am happy to take a picture for you and save it in case we manage to get any further in the investigation.

“I hope it doesn’t hurt too much and I am sure you still look amazingly hot.”

Kristina O’Connor (right) with her family at Des O’Connor’s CBE investiture at Buckingham Palace – Shutterstock

Ms O’Connor complained about Mr Mason’s conduct.

Mr Mason received a final written warning in 2021 after an independent misconduct panel found that he had breached the standards of professional behaviour on eight counts.

The punishment meant that Mr Mason was able to keep his rank. He resigned from the force in November last year.

Ms O’Connor alleged that the panel had failed to address Mr Mason’s “predatory and abusive” actions and said the Met Police had “failed to properly investigate” the complaint.

She took legal action against the misconduct panel and the Met Police.

Police chiefs and the misconduct panel disputed her claims.

Mr Justice Swift, who considered arguments at High Court hearings in London earlier this year, on Friday ruled against Ms O’Connor and dismissed her application for a judicial review.

Giving his ruling, Mr Justice Swift said: “I reject the claimant’s challenges to the decisions of the [police] commissioner and the panel. The application for judicial review is dismissed.”

‘This has been a frustrating process’

The judge added sufficient “steps were taken” during the disciplinary process which were “both reasonable and appropriate”.

Mr Justice Swift added in a written ruling: “While this was a case of sexual harassment, the panel was entitled to have in mind precisely what the harassment had comprised.”

He said that the disciplinary panel was entitled to “attach weight” to the fact the complaint was made many years after “the misconduct had occurred” and to Mr Mason’s previous record of “good service”.

Lawyers representing Ms O’Connor said that they are planning to appeal.

Ms O’Connor said: “This has been a frustrating process, and it is not the outcome I was hoping for but I want to keep fighting for justice for women.”.

Nancy Collins, a lawyer who represents Ms O’Connor and is based at Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors, said: “It is very disappointing that the High Court has dismissed Kristina O’Connor’s challenge to the police disciplinary process.”

Stuart Cundy, the Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Met Police, said:  “The Met took the allegations against DCI James Mason very seriously. An independent hearing panel found his conduct amounted to gross misconduct and issued him a final written warning. His behaviour was wholly unacceptable and the Met Police does not seek to justify the panel’s decision. The Commissioner has made it clear that officers who behave in this way have no place in the Met.”

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