One of the UK’s top female police officers is suing her ex-manager for sexual discrimination and victimisation, following a two-year ordeal that she claims effectively ended her career.
Chief superintendent Patsy Lord was suspended from the West Mercia force in the west Midlands in 2002 after being accused of bullying staff within her division.
All criminal allegations of psychological assault were overturned following a thorough independent investigation in 2003, but her career was effectively ended.
Lord, who is gay, is now pursuing a civil claim against West Mercia Police alleging discrimination because of her gender and sexual orientation, which could result in a significant payout.
Her solicitor, Ian Lewis from law firm Rowe Cohen, said: “My client’s career had been unblemished for more than 30 years. All she wanted to do was serve the community. Unfortunately, the way she was treated prevented her from doing just that.
“I am confident that we will be able to secure compensation for a woman whose career was left in tatters because of what we believe to have been discrimination,” Lewis added. “Had a male officer acted in the same way as Lord, he would have been labelled strong, rather than a bully.”
A West Mercia Police spokesman said: “We can confirm that chief superintendent Lord is retiring from the force following a decision by the chief constable Paul West.
“Mr West has thanked chief superintendent Lord for all the good work she has carried out over 30 years of committed service.”