Car smash cop was 'model officer' and driver for Royal Family - tribunal hears
8:17am Friday 22nd February 2013 in News
A FORMER police constable suing his force after being allegedly hounded out of his job was a model officer who was a driver for the Royal family including the Prince of Wales, a court heard.
PC Mike Baillon, 42, is bringing a claim of constructive dismissal against Gwent Police, saying he was bullied daily by colleagues after being caught on camera smashing the car of 74-year-old pensioner Robert Whatley in Usk in 2009.
Mr Baillon was a "conscientious" officer highly regarded by his force who acted as a VIP police driver for Prince Charles and Princess Anne during engagements in Gwent, Cardiff Employment Tribunal heard this week.
But PC Baillon was removed from traffic duties in February 2012 after he persisted with complaints about the Whatley incident, which made national headlines and was viewed more than 30 million times on YouTube.
Gwent Police chiefs claimed he had become mentally unstable and "obsessed" with this incident, the court heard yesterday.
Police claimed his inability to get over it and "move on" could affect his ability to drive police cars at high speed and had a "demoralising" impact on his colleagues.
Mr Baillon attempted to blow the whistle about his treatment by submitting a written complaint to Gwent Police Authority chief executive Shelley Bosson in November 2011.
His barrister, Nick Smith, claimed this complaint was not followed through properly and he was then removed from traffic duties in February 2012.
He said: "My client was a pariah, he was vilified by his colleagues week in, week out.
"There was an agenda here to remove him from the job that he loved."
The father-of-two was off sick from February 2012 and resigned from the force in August last year.
Tribunal Judge Roger Harper retired to considered the evidence with his colleagues yesterday.