Top Torfaen IT man, Farooq Dastgir who was cleared of fraud makes complaint against Gwent Police Chief

'LOOKING FOR JUSTICE': Farooq Dastgir

COMPLAINT: Gwent Police chief constable Jeff Farrar

First published in Pontypool news
Last updated

A SENIOR Torfaen council officer who was cleared of fraud earlier this year has made a complaint about Gwent Police chief constable Jeff Farrar and said he is "looking for justice".

Gwent Police have confirmed that they received a complaint concerning Mr Farrar, as well as his predecessor Carmel Napier, Detective Chief Superintendent Geoff Ronayne and three other Gwent Police employees.

The complaints were made by Farooq Dastgir, 53, who ran an IT centre dealing with data from Torfaen Council, Monmouthshire Council and Gwent Police before he was suspended on full pay in 2011.

The circumstances of the police investigation will be looked at following the complaint to The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

He and his co-defendant Gary Inchliffe were accused of false accounting during a high profile three-week trial in which the prosecution claimed Mr Dastgir used council money to pay for a South Wales Argus supplement advertising digital developments in Torfaen which he was told should be funded through private sponsorship.

The prosecution had claimed Mr Inchliffe, 52, had agreed to submit a “sham” invoice of £10,000 for cabling work which had never been, and would never be, done.

His company Camelot IT South Wales would use the money to sponsor the supplement, the court was told.

But the defence said the invoice was legitimate and related to work which would be done in the future. This kind of payment was not unusual, the court heard.

A jury took less than three hours to return its verdict at Cardiff Crown Court and the pair were unanimously acquitted.

A Gwent Police Spokeswoman said: “Gwent Police has received a complaint which was referred under mandatory criteria to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

“The IPCC have since referred it back to the force for local investigation and the complaint is currently being assessed. It would be inappropriate to comment any further at this time.”

Following the trial in May, Mr Dastgir, of Coed Camlas, New Inn, said: “The last two and a half years have been a great strain for me and my family, whose love and support has kept me strong.

“I have done nothing wrong. I have given 28 years of loyal service to Torfaen and I hope I am able to return to my post in the near future.”

Mr Dastgir said today: "I was acquitted so I am looking for justice, like any person would."

A spokesman for the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said an initial referral was assessed on the information available by the IPCC and in June we referred the complaint back to Gwent Police for them to deal with.

The complaint has since been re-referred to the IPCC with further information, and we will be assessing it.

Comments (3)

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7:43am Thu 31 Jul 14

Sometimes says...

Some clarity on this story would be appreciated, I can't understand why he would make a complaint against the police for investigating a reported crime by his employees. They gathered the evidence supplied by his employees and gave it to the CPS, who then made the decision to prosecute, the police don't make that decision. At the trial, his employees then said he was a wonderful man and everything was rosy in the camp, except for the £6M of taxpayers money that had been wasted by his department over the past 5 years and that they paid invoices before the work was done!

Why hasn't he returned to his £75Kpa job yet? Is he still suspended?
Some clarity on this story would be appreciated, I can't understand why he would make a complaint against the police for investigating a reported crime by his employees. They gathered the evidence supplied by his employees and gave it to the CPS, who then made the decision to prosecute, the police don't make that decision. At the trial, his employees then said he was a wonderful man and everything was rosy in the camp, except for the £6M of taxpayers money that had been wasted by his department over the past 5 years and that they paid invoices before the work was done! Why hasn't he returned to his £75Kpa job yet? Is he still suspended? Sometimes
  • Score: 1

10:14am Thu 31 Jul 14

CrownCourtJester says...

The whole thing has the appearence of a stitch-up (or stitch-ups) in my view.
Firstly, Gwent Police are part of the collaboration, so they had a vested interest from the outset. In effect they believed they were a victim of wrongdoing and then investigated it themselves. Hardly looks like an unbiased and neutral investigation does it?
The Court heard that the council (via AW, seemingly powerless Chief Exec and also Chairman of SRS) wanted a judicious course of action ie. preliminary fact-finding and then decide whether to refer the matter but Gwent Police(via Carmel Napier) insisted on a criminal investigation, presumably being convinced that wrongdoing had occurred.
It's disgraceful - how much public money did that decision cost?
Of course, Gwent Police now have the top man at SRS and he has surrounded himself with other former transferred Gwent personnel (they have all been transferred to the employ of Torfaen I gather).
Looks very much like a putsch to me.
Next, although the man is innocent of criminal wrongdoing it doesn't necessarily mean that he hasn't broken any internal rules. However, how on Earth can anyone reliably say he will be treated fairly?
AW - and others who seemingly fell on their sword earlier and retired at the first opportunity - are showing the same sort of view of this that the Gwent Police via its top officers have shown ie. he's done something wrong, work on that basis and produce conclusive evidence.
Finally - who IS running the Council?
RW claimed to have every faith, and clearly believes it unlikely that anyone wrong has been done. He's the Leader yet FD remains out of the loop, at considerable expense to Torfaen Council Tax payers, and from what the trial heard at the loss of a considerable amount of expertise.
How much funding that the court heard FD could tap into has not materialised. How much has Torfaen therefore lost out?
BW should be bringing this to a head, otherwise he runs the risk of the council's accounts being challenged and the WAO coming in.
The whole thing has the appearence of a stitch-up (or stitch-ups) in my view. Firstly, Gwent Police are part of the collaboration, so they had a vested interest from the outset. In effect they believed they were a victim of wrongdoing and then investigated it themselves. Hardly looks like an unbiased and neutral investigation does it? The Court heard that the council (via AW, seemingly powerless Chief Exec and also Chairman of SRS) wanted a judicious course of action ie. preliminary fact-finding and then decide whether to refer the matter but Gwent Police(via Carmel Napier) insisted on a criminal investigation, presumably being convinced that wrongdoing had occurred. It's disgraceful - how much public money did that decision cost? Of course, Gwent Police now have the top man at SRS and he has surrounded himself with other former transferred Gwent personnel (they have all been transferred to the employ of Torfaen I gather). Looks very much like a putsch to me. Next, although the man is innocent of criminal wrongdoing it doesn't necessarily mean that he hasn't broken any internal rules. However, how on Earth can anyone reliably say he will be treated fairly? AW - and others who seemingly fell on their sword earlier and retired at the first opportunity - are showing the same sort of view of this that the Gwent Police via its top officers have shown ie. he's done something wrong, work on that basis and produce conclusive evidence. Finally - who IS running the Council? RW claimed to have every faith, and clearly believes it unlikely that anyone wrong has been done. He's the Leader yet FD remains out of the loop, at considerable expense to Torfaen Council Tax payers, and from what the trial heard at the loss of a considerable amount of expertise. How much funding that the court heard FD could tap into has not materialised. How much has Torfaen therefore lost out? BW should be bringing this to a head, otherwise he runs the risk of the council's accounts being challenged and the WAO coming in. CrownCourtJester
  • Score: -2

12:32pm Thu 31 Jul 14

davidcp says...

They investigate their own officers criminality, don't they?
They investigate their own officers criminality, don't they? davidcp
  • Score: 1

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