'Stress ball' police boss Matthew Horne to keep job

Deputy Chief Constable Matthew Horne
Image caption Deputy Chief Constable Matthew Horne was physically and verbally abusive towards Essex Police colleagues, it was heard

A deputy chief constable who hurled a stress ball at a colleague has been found guilty of misconduct.

Essex Police's Deputy Chief Constable Matthew Horne was accused of breaching police standards during a period between 2015 and 2016.

All of the allegations were denied by Horne, who has been on secondment to the National Crime Agency.

He was found guilty on three counts of misconduct at a professional standards board hearing in Chelmsford.

The panel recommended Horne is not dismissed but is given management advice.

Essex Police will hold a further hearing in due course to decide what disciplinary action is taken, it said.

Image caption The misconduct panel was told Supt Glenn Maleary (pictured) was confronted by Horne

The hearing, which began on Monday, was told earlier that Horne approached colleague Supt Glenn Maleary outside the force's control room in June 2015.

He repeatedly swore at Supt Maleary with his fists clenched, it was heard.

The hearing was also told Horne pushed Ch Supt Carl O'Malley into a desk during a "professional disagreement" and later hurled a stress ball which hit him in the throat.

While giving the panel's recommendations, Dorian Lovell-Pank QC said Horne was an officer with an "outstanding career" who had "brought strength and honour to each force he has served".

The panel said it was not able to accept the suggestion of no further action and accepted the business of policing was "difficult, sometimes thankless, and often stressful".

An Essex Police spokesman said: "We will reflect carefully on the detailed panel findings and will of course look to ensure that any wider learning for the force is taken on board."

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