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Yard inquiry 'set to clear Paddick'
by Charles Begley, This is London, 25th April 2002
Lambeth's controversial police commander Brian Paddick is set to be cleared by an inquiry into allegations that he once smoked cannabis, senior Scotland Yard sources say.
The disciplinary panel investigation into Britain's most senior openly gay officer was launched last month after his former lover James Renolleau revealed intimate details about their relationship. The inquiry is still in its early stages.
Renolleau claimed the £93,000-ayear Metropolitan Police commander allowed drugs to be used in his home and had an improper relationship with someone on bail.
But an officer closely linked to the inquiry today said Commander Paddick would be cleared due to a series of legal technicalities.
The source said it is "highly unlikely" he will be found guilty of any wrongdoing, meaning he will be able to return to his duties at the south London borough, where he has pioneered a soft stance on cannabis. The technicalities which it is claimed will clear Mr Paddick are that, as he shared living costs with his former lover, he did not have sole control of the premises, and therefore cannot be held responsible for any drugs taken there.
Although Renolleau was on bail during a period of their relationship, Mr Paddick did not need to notify his superiors because he was already known to him. Scotland Yard rules ordering officers to report any personal encounters with defendants on bail are only designed to stop corruption and do not apply to close friends.
The third claim that the police chief used drugs himself is simply Renolleau's word against his.
© Charles Begley, This is London
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