A former Greater Manchester Police chief superintendent has been found guilty of gross misconduct after lying about serving in the Falklands War.

Nick Adderley lied and exaggerated his naval rank, length of service and achievements when applying to become chief constable of Northamptonshire Police.

He has now been found to have committed gross misconduct and has been dismissed without notice from his role at the Northamptonshire force.

Adderley was previously the Chief Superintendent of Greater Manchester Police’s Tameside and North Manchester divisions.

A misconduct hearing was told that he “built military naval legend that wasn’t true”, including implying that he had served in the Falklands War – despite being aged just 15 when the conflict broke out in, 1982.

The panel, chaired by Callum Cowx, who served in the Royal Navy, the Army and the police, found all allegations against Mr Adderley proven, saying they found “his audacity to be quite staggering”, adding that he had lied over many years with “arrogant temerity”.

The misconduct hearing in Northampton heard Mr Adderley wore a South Atlantic Medal, awarded to British military personnel and civilians for service in the Falklands conflict, that was deemed “110%” fake by a Ministry of Defence medal expert.

Mr Adderley claimed he had served in the Royal Navy for 10 years when he had served for only two, and had apparently included his service with the Sea Cadets from the age of 10 in that calculation.

He also claimed on his CV that he had attended the prestigious Britannia Royal Naval College for four years, despite his application being rejected.

He had also claimed to have seen active service during his naval career, had been a military negotiator in Haiti despite never visiting the country, and that he had been a “commander or a lieutenant”, even though he only achieved the rank of able seaman.

Mr Cowx said the panel would not give fully formed reasons for their decisions on Friday, and they would follow in a written report within five days, but agreed the allegations against Mr Adderley amounted to breaches of honesty and integrity and discreditable conduct.

He said: “Mr Adderley has a genuinely fascinating success story to tell. He joined the Royal Navy as a rating, a career was not for him.

“He found his vocation in policing and rose from able seaman to chief constable and that’s an amazing achievement worth telling, but something in Nick Adderley told him that wasn’t enough.”

'Stolen valour'

The misconduct hearing was earlier told by John Beggs KC, representing the Office of the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, that media claims of “stolen valour” were not exaggerated.

Mr Cowx said: “Mr Beggs described his actions as stolen valour and that’s precisely what it is – by wearing medals he was not entitled to wear, he stole their richly deserved valour and recognition and his explanation was risible.

“He knew he was not entitled to wear the medals. Of further concern is that he involved his brothers to the extent that they gave him medals to wear that he had not earned.

“Richard Adderley is, or was, a police officer, yet he too has lied freely to deflect attention from his brother.”

Mr Cowx said “alarm bells should have rung” when Mr Adderley applied for the top job at Northamptonshire and questioned why nobody who was vetting the applicants picked up on the inaccuracies in his CV and application form, saying that the harm from this case would be “significant”.

He said: “There is ongoing and serious public concern about the vetting of police officers yet here is someone who managed to slip under the radar.”

Mr Adderley did not attend the final day of the misconduct hearing, despite being directed to by Mr Cowx, but a statement was read out on his behalf by his barrister Matthew Holdcroft, who said he “deeply regrets” any offence his medal-wearing may have caused veterans.

In a statement from Mr Adderley that was read out at the hearing, he acknowledged the officers he had worked with in his 32-year career, saying: “I had the privilege of serving communities in Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire and Northamptonshire and it has been the greatest honour of my life to lead the brave men and women in those forces.

“For over three decades I have witnessed first hand the dedication they apply and their unswerving bravery. The pride I have in those I have led has no bounds and I will be forever grateful to them for the difference they have made to the lives of so many.

“Thank you for your support, kindness and inspiring me to push on and be a better leader and colleague. I offer a heartfelt apology.

“Today’s determination showed I have failed you, something I deeply regret. I regret I will no longer be part of your future.

“Please be under no illusion I will be there cheering you on from the sidelines.”

In a statement, the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Danielle Stone, said: “This case has put Northamptonshire Police in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

“We now need to set out to restore a reputation for honesty and integrity, which are fundamental values.

“Police officers are held to very high standards and the expectation of police leaders is even higher – it is their duty to set the tone for the rest of the organisation.

“Failing to uphold these standards is incredibly serious and damaging to public confidence in our police officers who do excellent work, day after day, to keep the public safe.

“We will now work hard to rebuild that reputation for honesty and integrity and earn the confidence of the public.

“Acting Chief Constable Ivan Balhatchet and his team have done a fantastic job in leading the force through a period of uncertainty and I will work with them to engage with communities and build public confidence and trust in their police.”

In the United States, the Stolen Valor Act 2013 makes it a federal crime to fraudulently claim to be a recipient of certain military medals in order to obtain money, property, or another tangible benefit.

In 2016, a petition to make it illegal for people to wear military medals they were not entitled to wear in the UK gained more than 11,000 signatures on the Parliament website.

That same year, the Ministry of Defence responded to the petition, saying: “The Stolen Valor Act 2013 makes it a federal crime to fraudulently claim to be a recipient of certain military decorations or medals in order to obtain money, property, or other tangible benefit.

“Under UK law the making, or attempting to make a financial gain by fraudulently wearing uniforms or medals, or by pretending to be or have been in the Armed Forces is already a criminal offence of fraud under the Fraud Act 2006, as is the pretence of being awarded an official medal.

“The offence carries a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment. It is also an offence under that Act (carrying up to five years’ imprisonment) for a person to possess or have under his control any article for use in the course of, or in connection with any fraud.

“It is also an offence against The Uniforms Act 1894 for any person not serving in the Armed Forces to wear the uniform of any of the Armed Forces under such circumstances as to be likely to bring contempt upon that uniform.

“However, it is not automatically against civil law to wear a veterans badge or decorations or medals which have not been earned and there are no plans to make it an offence.

“There are many instances where relatives openly wear the medals earned by deceased relatives as a mark of respect, albeit on the right breast and we would not wish to discourage this practice.”

Greater Manchester Police has been contacted for comment.

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Contains reporting from PA.