A counter terrorism officer who tested positive for cocaine but neglected to tell his superiors has been sacked.
At the time of the test Detective Constable Jonathan Fisher-Eames was attempting to transfer from the Counter Terrorism and Domestic Extremism unit at Luton Airport to SO15 – the Met Police’s counter terror command.
As part of his application Fisher-Eames, 42, was told to complete a mandatory drugs screening which tested positive for cocaine and its metabolites – benzoylecgonine and cocaethylene.
Despite being informed of the result over the phone on June 30 last year, Fisher-Eames kept the findings to himself and continued to work at Luton Airport until July 22 – when commanding officers at Hertfordshire Constabulary were notified by the Met.
A misconduct hearing held in Sandy on Wednesday was told that the 42-year-old fully accepted taking cocaine, but that it was just a ‘one off’.
Fisher-Eames was asked to take the drug test as he had already passed through the interview stage of his application and he was only later turned down by the Met due to his sickness record.
The tribunal was told that the results of the test were consistent with recreational use of the Class A drug.
Edwin Buckett, representing Herts Police, said: “The authority says that he should have reported that positive test and he was wrong not to do that.
“This officer kept quiet about that hoping it would not come to light because his application was not successful, he should not wait for written confirmation.”
He added: “In order to get Class A drugs there must be someone else involved, either that is a drug dealer or a friend acting as a drug dealer.
“Cocaine comes from organised crime.”
Mr Buckett conceded that Herts Police were unable to establish the length of time Fisher-Eames had been taking drugs, as his hair sample was not split into three strands at the time of the test.
In an attempt to gain further detail the force sent Fisher-Eames’ hair sample to doctors in California, but the retest was unsuccessful.
Herts Police Federation general secretary Vojislav Mihailovic, representing Fisher-Eames, asserted that the 42-year-old’s consumption of cocaine was a “one off fall from grace”.
He added that Fisher-Eames had taken cocaine due to stresses in his professional and private life.
Mr Mihailovic said: “He has seen many traumatic experiences and like many police officers they keep that hidden.
“It is a case of ‘pull yourself together and get on with it’.
“This was a stressful time for him in his life due to the break up of his second marriage.
“It has been a catalyst for him in that he has had to admit to himself the impact of the stress and what has taken place in his private life.
“He is now seeking medical assistance going forward with that.”
A disciplinary panel – headed by an independent chair – ruled that Fisher-Eames breached police rules over discreditable conduct.
His actions were said to amount to gross misconduct and the 42-year-old has been dismissed without notice.
A Herts Police spokesperson told the Luton News: “The public demand and deserve the highest standards from their police officers.
“DC Fisher-Eames’ conduct in relation to the use of class A drugs fell below these high standards and we support the independent tribunal’s decision to dismiss him without notice.”
Herts police and crime commissioner David Lloyd added: “It is essential that police uphold the highest standards of conduct throughout their duties and in their private lives.
“I welcome the fact that these misconduct panels are now open to press and public as the transparency will contribute greatly to public confidence and reassurance.
“These misconduct panels are chaired by independent qualified panel members who have been appointed by police and crime commissioners and they bring even greater levels of fairness and openness to police misconduct matters.”