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Judge claims cyber crime chief 'lied' under oath in whistleblower action

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The head of an elite cyber crime police unit lied under oath, an employment judge has said.

Detective Superintendent Charlie McMurdie runs the high-profile Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) and recently gave evidence at an employment tribunal hearing involving a former subordinate, whistleblower Detective Sergeant Howard Shaw.

Shaw claimed McMurdie colluded to force him out of the PCeU after he blew the whistle on "misconduct and dishonesty" by another of McMurdie's subordinates, Detective Inspector Kevin Williams, in October 2008.

Shaw alleged that Williams "cheated" to obtain a coveted role at PCeU by obtaining questions interview candidates were due to face in advance.

As a result of the deception, Williams scored over 90 points out of 100 on his interview, compared to about 30 points for competing candidate Detective Inspector Paul Amoo.

McMurdie, a member of the selection panel, took no action in response to Shaw's claims, however, preferring instead to "sweep the matter under the carpet" and appoint Williams to the unit as Shaw's line manager.

Working with Williams, she also moved quickly to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Shaw regarding an outside business interest he had applied for approval more than 18 months previously.

"We found they acted on the basis of allegations which they knew or ought to have known were untrue," the tribunal found.

"Ms McMurdie sat there and she told us lies," added employment judge Sandra Pontac at the conclusion of the hearing. "She told us that none of it happened."

If this can be proved in a criminal court, McMurdie faces possible prosecution for perjury.

Shaw sought £2m in exceptional damages for victimisation suffered after blowing the whistle, but said he would donate all the money to charity after paying his lawyer.

The tribunal awarded the relatively paltry sum of £37,000 damages plus £1,000 costs, however, which the Register says isn't even enough to cover Shaw's legal bill.

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