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But the High Court threw out the case, ruling that the plaintiff’s action was “devoid of any factual foundation” and “hopelessly misconceived”. During his stint as chief constable spending on Northumbria’s press and communications department rose from about £300,000 to £1.9million.
And he will not have been impressed by the battering his reputation has taken this week.
But this was overturned by a judge after an appeal by the press. At the time Mrs Peacock, 60, the same age as her husband, appeared upbeat about quitting and her time in the police force.
There she also alleges that an assistant chief constable was having a dalliance with the chief’s secretary which involved “groin stroking” at work and messages mentioning “nipples with tassels” and – more mysteriously – “hula hoops”.
In the Carry On environment of Northumbria Police HQ the chief constable even had to have “a quiet word” with a superintendent who is said to have coerced a member of staff into performing a sex act on him. Except this is exactly what is said to have happened after the alleged affair between the chief constable of Northumbria Police Mike Craik and his assistant chief constable Carolyn Peacock was rumbled by her husband Jim.
The story begins in 2007 when Denise Aubrey, Northumbria’s former head of legal services, overheard officers gossiping about rumours of a close relationship between Craik and Mrs Peacock.
“I first heard them from a female officer in another force when I was attending a function in Wakefield,” she told the tribunal earlier this week.