Detective sues The Times over 'bribes' claim

A police officer who claims he was libelled by a story in The Times has launched a legal battle for compensation of £100,000.

Detective Sergeant Gary Flood argues a story headlined ‘Detective accused of taking bribes from Russian exiles’was defamatory, and is demanding damages and an injunction banning repetition of the allegations.

He said the story meant there were strong grounds to suspect he had abused his position as a police officer with the Metropolitan Police’s extradition unit by corruptly accepting £20,000 in bribes from Russian criminals.

The story claimed the bribes were for selling highly confidential Home Office and police intelligence about extradition attempts, and meant he had committed both an appalling breach of duty and betrayal of trust, and a very serious criminal offence, he states.

Det Sgt Flood, who denies the allegations, says his personal and professional reputation has been severely damaged, and that he has suffered considerable hurt and embarrassment.

He is also seeking aggravated damages, saying the story, which appeared on 2 June last year, gave false credence to the allegations by reporting on a police raid of his home without explaining it had been initiated not by police, but by a journalist working for The Times.

Times Newspapers has refused to apologise to him, despite repeated requests, and has continued to publish the story on its website, which he says is outrageous.

A Metropolitan Police investigation into the allegations decided that there was no evidence to support any allegations of wrongdoing by him, according to a High Court writ.

Det Sgt Flood, of Bolney, West Sussex, argues that the publishers have shown utter disregard for his feelings and reputation, and says the damage caused to him has been further increased by this.

The writ was issued by solicitors Reed Minty.

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