Chief constable who ‘wore bogus Falklands medal’ was only 15 when war started

BankingMay 30, 2024 /idopress/

Nick Adderley is facing a misconduct panel

Credit: Anita Maric / SWNS/Anita Maric / SWNS

An “embarrassing” chief constable built a “military naval legend that wasn’t true” about himself by wearing a Falklands War medal believed not to be valid,a misconduct panel has heard.

Nick Adderley,of Northamptonshire Police,is accused of exaggerating his rank,length of service and achievements in the Royal Navy.

Such “legend” included that he had served for 10 years when he had served for only two,was a Falklands veteran even though he was only 15 when the war started,and had attended the prestigious Britannia Royal Naval College – despite his application being rejected.

John Beggs KC represented the Office of the Northamptonshire Police,Fire and Crime Commissioner during the three-day misconduct hearing at Northampton Saints Stadium. 

He said it was not suggested that these “deceits” were instrumental in Mr Adderley securing the job of chief constable in Aug 2018,but said he “plainly should not deceive those who were considering his application”.

Mr Adderley arriving at the Northampton Saints ground for the hearing on Tuesday

Credit: Anita Maric/SWNS

Mr Adderley,who was suspended from his role after allegations were made against him,arrived for the first day of the hearing on Tuesday in his uniform and attempted to avoid the press waiting outside the building by entering through a side door.

His counsel told the hearing that he denies misconduct and acting without integrity,but admits he breached standards in terms of duties and responsibilities.

Mr Adderley made notes at his desk as Mr Beggs told the panel,chaired by Callum Cowx,that Mr Adderley claimed he had seen active service during his naval career,had been a military negotiator in Haiti and had been a “commander or a lieutenant”.

All these claims were “enormous exaggerations” and Mr Adderley was only ever an able seaman before he was discharged after two years of service,Mr Beggs said,adding that he also “allowed or promoted the notion that he served in the Falklands”.

A South Atlantic Medal,awarded to British military personnel and civilians for service in the Falklands War,that Mr Adderley had worn on several occasions and claimed was his brother’s,is “not believed to be a valid medal”,Mr Beggs said.

Mr Adderley was just 15 when the three-month Falklands War broke out in 1982

He told the panel: “This case is not about whether Mr Adderley made a positive contribution to Northamptonshire Police.

“It is about whether he has,over many years,deliberately advanced a false narrative to exaggerate his service,rank and achievements in the Royal Navy and allowed or promoted the notion that he served in the Falklands.

“It is unsurprising that the latter assertion has caused deep offence because we know 255 service people met their deaths in that war and many more were injured.

“To claim you served your country when in fact you were 15 years old is an egregious thing to have done by any person,let alone a senior police officer.”

‘Incorrect information on his CV’

Mr Beggs also claimed that Mr Adderley had failed to correct a number of media articles and publications which mentioned “falsehoods” in his career history over the years and that there was incorrect information on his own CV and application form for the chief constable role.

Mr Beggs said: “He has over time failed to take any steps whatsoever to correct inaccurate media reports of his service.

“We understand the media can misreport the facts,but if you see the media misreporting,you have a duty to put right the factual errors. He did not.

“He said he never noticed these articles,that he had no interest in his media profile. It is perfectly appropriate to keep a weather eye on media reporting of that officer. It would be surprising if a senior officer did not read media articles about him.

“We invite the panel to conclude it is risible to conclude he did not notice the misreporting,and go further and say he created the misreporting.”


He also said it was “embarrassing” that Mr Adderley attempted to clarify his claim to have attended the world-famous Britannia Naval College for four years to the Independent Office for Police Conduct,even though his application was rejected,by saying it had “showed his ambition”.

Mr Beggs added: “He was never a leader in the Royal Navy in any reasonable or ordinary sense,he was the lowest rank among ratings.

“He described himself as a commended officer,but he received no formal commendations or medals. Later he was to suggest by commended he meant people had told him he had ‘done a good job’.”

The hearing continues.

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