Jim Diamond 4am - 7am
Des O’Connor’s daughter to sue Met after officer called her ‘amazingly hot’
20 May 2022, 14:11 | Updated: 20 May 2022, 14:23
Des O'Connor's daughter has won the right to take the Metropolitan Police to court after the force failed to take action when an officer described her as "amazingly hot" after she reported a mugging.
Listen to this article
Kristina O'Connor, now 33, was sent numerous inappropriate messages by DCI James Mason, 43, after he responded to her report of an attempted robbery in October 2011.
Ms O'Connor, supported by the Good Law Project, then launched a Judicial Review against the force for "enabling" misogyny.
The campaign organisation has since confirmed that the High Court granted Ms O'Connor permission to move forward with the legal action.
DCI Mason asked Ms O'Connor "deeply personal questions" with a "heavy sexual overtone" while taking her statement after she was assaulted by a group of men trying to steal her phone.
He invited her out for dinner and then sent a series of personal emails including one telling her she was "amazingly hot".
Following her complaint about DCI Mason, who was at the time of the incident a detective sergeant, a panel at a police misconduct hearing found him guilty of gross misconduct.
However, the force let him keep his job and rank, only issuing a written warning.
Ms O'Connor told Good Law Project: "I welcome this decision from the High Court, not only as a step towards justice being served in my case, but also as a step towards institutional changes, so that justice can be served in all future cases.
"Being given permission to proceed gives me hope that women's voices are beginning to be heard at the highest levels and within these institutions of power.
"An official body has recognised the Met Police's poor practice in my case.
"I still believe that this poor practice is institutional and that it is important that the police are held to this level of scrutiny consistently, and that this case is not just a one-off."
Nancy Collins, Kristina's solicitor, said: "I am pleased that Kristina's claim, which concerns police-perpetuated harassment of women and the police disciplinary process addressing such conduct, will be considered further by the High Court.
"There is a culture of misogyny that has deep roots in the Met; we have seen various cases over recent months of unacceptable treatment of women by Met police officers, and it is the courageous actions of brave women like Kristina that continue to draw wider attention to these pervasive failings by the Met, which must be addressed and resolved with pressing urgency."
A Met spokesperson previously said: "We recognise there is a need for real change in the Met. We are committed to creating an environment that is intolerant to those who do not uphold the high values and standards expected of us."
They added: "Any victim of crime should have the confidence and trust to come to police to receive the support and professionalism they rightfully expect. "Where this does not happen, we want to know about it so any learning and, if appropriate, disciplinary action can be taken."