Newham policeman sacked after comparing black man to monkey

A policeman who admitted saying a black man looked like a monkey was fired from the Met yesterday, while another officer received a written warning for making offensive comments.

Former police constable Kevin Hughes, 36, has always insisted he was simply discussing evolution with his colleagues, but other officers reported his remarks to police bosses.

Pc David Hair, 42, was also reported after he was said to have asked a black colleague whether she was going home “to cook bananas”.

Both officers, who worked in Newham, were cleared of racially-aggravated harassment by Westminster Magistrates’ Court in November last year, but the case was subsequently referred to the police watchdog, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

Hughes was dismissed from the Met yesterday for gross misconduct in relation to authority, respect and courtesy and discreditable conduct.

Although the misconduct case against Pc Hair was found proven, the panel took into account the opinion of a witness that he had not meant to cause offence and he was issued with a final written warning. He will also undergo diversity training.

IPCC Commissioner, Mike Franklin, said “Pcs Hughes and Hair used offensive language and arguably many people will find their comments to be insulting and unacceptable.

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“This situation is aggravated further by the fact the offensive remarks were made within a group of officers which suggests Hughes and Hair thought their comments were appropriate work place banter.

“Fortunately, their colleagues were not prepared to let the remarks go unchallenged and they had the courage to report the officers’ comments as well as providing evidence at the criminal trial.”

It is vital the Met takes reports of racist officers seriously, he added.

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