London

Met race row police officers accuse IPCC of wasting public money

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Two police officers who spent five years under investigation facing allegations they racially discriminated against a black off-duty firefighter have criticised their treatment.

PC Daniel Roberts and Insp Sutinderjit Mahil were accused of using offensive language towards Edric Kennedy-Macfoy.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation against them collapsed on Wednesday.

The duo said the safety net of the IPCC had failed them.

PC Roberts and Insp Mahil were accused of using abusive and offensive language motivated by racial discrimination and/or racial stereotyping against Mr Kennedy-Macfoy.

The firefighter was helping them identify a teenager who had thrown a rock at a police van in Harrow, in September 2011.

It was claimed a third officer, PC Mark Gatland tasered Mr Kennedy-Macfoy because he was black.

The IPCC offered no evidence for the case and apologised to Mr Kennedy-Macfoy for what it called "procedural shortfalls" after it failed to take into account statements corroborating the officers' accounts from independent witnesses.

It did not interview those witnesses and failed to disclose those statements during disciplinary proceedings.

The IPCC added it would be carrying out an "in depth review" to ensure its procedures were strengthened following the collapse of the case.

PC Roberts, 30, from Westminster Borough, said he was pleased the case had been dropped but felt "annoyed that I have not been able to speak out about what really happened".

He said the stress of the case had left him in hospital with a brain infection.

Inspector Mahil, based in Ealing, said it had been "a complete waste of public money".

"I feel greatly let down by the IPCC for bringing this unnecessary case against us which we always denied."

Last year, Scotland Yard apologised and paid compensation in a civil claim to Mr Kennedy-Macfoy.

But he said he felt the last five years of his life had been "stolen" and the collapse of the case meant he had been "denied justice".

On Wednesday the Met said: "We fully recognise that the misconduct hearing not going ahead is damaging for the complainant and for the public who need to have confidence in the way officers are held to account for their actions".

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