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‘Plebgate’ police officer handed 12-month jail term

JAILED: PC Keith Wallis (PA)

A POLICEMAN who lied about a senior Conservative politician abusing fellow officers has been imprisoned for a year.

Officer Keith Wallis, 53, of West Drayton, was sentenced at the Old Bailey today (Feb 6) after he admitted to the charge of misconduct in public office.

At the centre of the incident, dubbed “Plebgate”, was former Tory chief whip Andrew Mitchell who had been accused of calling officers “fu*king plebs” following a row about not being able to cycle out of a gate at Downing Street.

Mitchell, who was chief whip at the time, lost his senior political position in the aftermath of the incident in September 2012.

Wallis had been posted with the Met’s Diplomatic Protection Group when he wrote an email to his MP claiming he had witnessed Mitchell abuse police.

It later emerged Wallis was not present at the time of the incident when Mitchell was said to have argued with police.

An investigation was launched into the incident and Wallis was arrested on December 15, 2012, and charged with misconduct in public office.

Police established that officers on duty at the time of the incident outside Downing Street did not conspire with Wallis.

Met commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said: “Today’s sentencing brings to a close the criminal case against PC Wallis. During the hearing PC Wallis offered to resign from the [Met]. The Deputy Commissioner turned down that request and there will now be a misconduct process to deal with his position in the Met. This will take place as soon as possible.

“PC Wallis’s actions have clearly fallen way below the standards that me, my fellow police officers and the public demand.

“I expect my officers to serve the public without fear or favour. Where officers break the law they must expect to be held to account and answer for what they have done.”

He added: “Yesterday, I apologised personally to Mr Mitchell that an MPS officer clearly lied about seeing him behaving in a certain manner. Today, I apologise to the public for PC Wallis’s behaviour.

“As there are still a number of misconduct hearings to take place for other officers I must take care not to say or do anything that prejudices the outcome of these hearings.”

Wallis is subject to further gross misconduct hearings that will be held internally by the Met, while four other officers are also facing hearings for their actions in connection to the incident.

The hearings are scheduled to take place at the end of this month and March.

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