Met Police officer who wrote drug strategy

An alleged cannabis-smoking Metropolitan Police commander who wrote the force’s drug strategy was “never sober” at home, a misconduct hearing has been told.

Julian Bennett is said to have used the Class B drug every day before breakfast and going to work, where he was praised by senior colleagues.

Mr Bennett, who has previously chaired misconduct hearings and oversaw the dismissal of two officers for drug misuse, also allegedly took LSD at a party, and magic mushrooms while on holiday in France.

Commander Julian Bennett arrives at a Metropolitan Police misconduct hearing at Palestra House

Image: Commander Julian Bennett arrives at a misconduct hearing in London

He is further accused of refusing to comply with a lawful order to provide a sample for a drugs test and of lying about why he could not do so.

The senior officer, who joined the Met in 1976 and has been suspended on full pay since July 2021, denies the three allegations said to have amounted to gross misconduct between 2019 and July 2020. He could face dismissal if they are proven.

A panel on Tuesday heard from senior nursing assistant Sheila Gomes, who lived at Bennett’s flat towards the end of 2019.

“He was never sober at home,” she said.

“He has to drink and he has to smoke. Julian Bennett was most of the time not sober. He was never sober.”

She also claimed he was “in and out” buying cannabis but did not know where it came from.

But John Beggs KC, representing Mr Bennett, suggested she was a “liar”, a “fantasist” and a “gold digger” who is looking for money.

She denied the suggestions but admitted she was currently involved in litigation and had previously done so in Portugal, where she was born.

The hearing was told Mr Bennett’s performance was praised by senior officers at the time of the alleged drug taking.

The hearing continues.

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