West Midlands Officers Face 'Plebgate' Misconduct Hearing

Two police officials from the West Midlands will face disciplinary hearings following claims they gave misleading accounts of a meeting with ex-government chief whip Andrew Mitchell over the Plebgate affair.

Detective Sergeant Stuart Hinton of Warwickshire Police and Inspector Ken Mackaill of West Mercia Police are accused of gross misconduct.

The officers met Mr Mitchell in his Sutton Coldfield constituency office in October 2012 following reports that he had sworn at officers who refused to let him cycle though the main gate of Downing Street and called them ``plebs''.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission launched an investigation over allegations they gave misleading accounts of the meeting to media afterwards.

Today the IPCC said its commissioner Carl Gumsley, has directed Warwickshire Police to hold a misconduct hearing for Mr Hinton.

The force had declined to follow an earlier recommendation that there was a case to answer for gross misconduct, arguing that he should face a lesser charge.

West Mercia Police decided, in line with an IPCC investigator's opinion, that Mr Mackaill has a case to answer for gross misconduct.

However, the watchdog added that it has decided the threshold for referring its investigation report to the Crown Prosecution Service in respect of any possible criminal offence has not been met.

The IPCC said it agreed with West Midlands Police that a third officer, Sergeant Chris Jones, should face no action.

Karen Manners, Deputy Chief Constable for Warwickshire Police, said: ``We can confirm that today we received a letter from the Independent Police Complaints Commission directing us to hold a misconduct hearing for Detective Sergeant Stuart Hinton.

``We will be arranging a hearing, in accordance with the direction, in due course.''

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