A “highly ambitious” policeman sought high-ranking positions with forces across the country by allegedly making dishonest job applications.
Merseyside Police superintendent Michael Martin is accused of making misleading statements and fabricating information about himself to support his attempts to get a transfer for promotion.
The 46-year-old, who is standing trial at Preston Crown Court, denies a total of seven charges – five of fraud, one of forgery and another of misconduct in a public office.
He today chose not to give evidence to jurors.
Martin is alleged to have falsely claimed to have a university degree – a BSc in risk and security management – and forged a certificate to that effect.
Jurors were told that a Merseyside Police probe began after Martin, described as a “capable and highly ambitious” officer, applied for a transfer to the Metropolitan Police in 2009.
Prosecutors say he failed to seek the support of a senior officer for the application, which would be normal practice.
Jeremy Grout-Smith, prosecuting, told jurors: “A subsequent investigation found that not only on that application, but on several occasions over some years, the defendant had made misleading statements and indeed, fabricated information about himself, in order to support applications. The defendant denies any wrongdoing.”
Martin, who began his career with West Midlands Police in 1988, moved to Devon and Cornwall Police in 2003. In 2005, he was promoted to inspector.
The prosecution say Martin falsely claimed to have taken part in procedural review following the “high-profile” death of a mentally-ill woman who died of malnutrition in a car park while with Devon and Cornwall Police.
In a successful application to Essex Police, he claimed to have been involved in implementing or drafting new strategies as a result of the investigation.
Martin’s then-line manager in Devon, former chief superintendent Joanna Tennant, yesterday told the court there were “inaccuracies” in his application.
She added that she was unaware that she had been put down as a “verifier” of his application, and that she was never contacted by his prospective employers.
She said it was rare that new employers would endeavour to check the accuracy of an application.
Ms Tennant said: “There’s a definite skill in writing an application where you make the best and most of the evidence you have to present it to the employer. There’s no culture of contacting the verifier. It happens extremely rarely.”
Martin joined Essex as a chief inspector in October 2007 and later applied to a number of forces seeking to become a superintendent, joining Merseyside Police in February 2009.
But just a few months later, in July, he was applying for a job with the Met.
The prosecution claim Martin wanted to be involved in the London Olympics and that the case of the woman who died in Cornwall was discussed during a formal interview.
The prosecution say that from officer feedback in that interview a chief superintendent had been struck by that example of showing sensitivity to minorities.
After he mentioned to his superior in November 2009 that his application for the Met had been successful, questions were asked by Merseyside Police as to why the force had not known.
From then on, an investigation went back in time, down previous applications and evidence of misconduct came to light, claim the prosecution.
Martin, now of Oak Dene, Carlisle, is further accused of falsely naming someone as his line manager on his application to the Met and including a forged signature.
He chose not to give evidence and no defence was put forward at the close of the prosecution case yesterday. The jury are expected to retire to consider verdicts on Wednesday.
Read the full story at http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/merseyside-police-officer-accused-forging-7471430