Former Lancashire police officer Martin Kay was suspended sentenced of 16 weeks in prison following a harassment suit from a student at UCLan, where he taught as a Professor. Though the sentence has been suspended for 12 months, Kay has resigned from his position at the university.
However, as light came to a previous complaint filled by a female officer in 2011, many members of the community were outraged that Kay had ever been allowed to work with young people.
While no formal complaint was filled in 2011, at request of the other officer involved, one retired officer told the Evening Post that “there was a lot of unhappiness at how it all came about. He was looked after. It’s a disgrace.”
After the 2011 incident, Kay was transferred and promoted. Kay had an illustrious career with Lancashire’s police, working alongside colleagues from MI5, MI6, the Counter-Terrorism Command at New Scotland Yard, the Home Office and the North West Counter Terrorism Unit.
Kay was also part of a team who completed a review of policing plans to negate the terrorist threat to the 2012 London Olympics. He left the police in 2013 to take up a job as lecturer at UCLan.
In response to the harassment charges, Lancashire police issued the following statement: “While he has not been a serving officer since 2013, he was in a position of trust and his actions are at complete odds with the constabulary’s purpose of keeping people safe and protecting the most vulnerable in our society.”
They did address the issue of the 2011 incident saying “Lancashire Constabulary is clear on the standards expected from officers and staff in the way colleagues are treated and respected and any similar incident would be dealt with differently now. Because of that, we have referred the matter to our Professional Standards Department to conduct a review.”
The Lancashire Police force were clear to distance themselves from Kay despite the reference Lancashire police gave in order for him to receive his position at the University.
They continued: “We recognise the distress caused by Martin Kay’s behaviour, but it is ultimately he alone who bears responsibility for his actions.”
Despite attempts for a private court hearing, citing his previous work experience with MI5 and in counter-terrorism, Kay was tried and found guilty in public court. In addition to the 16 weeks of suspended jail time, he has been ordered to complete 200 hours of community service and to pay a £1,000 fine to the student he harassed. District judge Jeff Brailsford said: “It is difficult to imagine a greater and grosser abuse of trust” in regards to the matter.
UCLan issued a statement in support to the student at hand, “Martin was recruited following UCLan’s normal recruitment process, including obtaining a reference from his former employer.
“UCLan has a dedicated zero-tolerance harassment policy and takes matters of this nature very seriously. The university accepted the member of staff’s resignation as soon as it became aware of the allegation and provided full support to the student affected.”