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Dismissed cop wins case against former police commissioner

Published:Monday | February 19, 2018 | 12:00 AM

The Supreme Court has granted an order quashing the decision of the Commissioner of Police to discharge Constable Derron Nish from the police force in August 2013 and to refuse him permission to re-enlist in the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

Justice Kirk Anderson found that the then Commissioner of Police, Owen Ellington, did not give Nish an opportunity to respond to a polygraph test which he was told he had failed.

The judge said that was unfair to the policeman.

The Commissioner of Police, who was the respondent in the claim, was ordered to pay 50 per cent of Nish's legal costs.

Justice Anderson ruled that if Constable Nish wishes to re-enlist in the police force, he will have to re-apply and a fair hearing will have to be afforded to him.

The judge said if a hearing is to take place Nish has to be informed of the reasons it was recommended that he be barred from re-enlisting.

He must also be provided with a copy of the polygraph test results.

Constable Nish was arrested and charged in 2010 with illegal possession of firearm, kidnapping, obtaining money by means of false pretense and fraudulent use of a licence plate but he was freed of the charges.

Nish said after he was freed he received a letter from the police commissioner in November 2012 that he would not be recommended for re-enlistment on the basis of the charges that were laid against him.

It was also stated in the letter that his integrity was sullied and he was accused of discarding his service pistol on the compound of the Matilda's Corner police station.

Nish denied the allegations stating that he had handed over his firearm to a policeman.

Constable Nish and his lawyer subsequently attended a meeting with the Commissioner of Police in January 2013 and agreed to do a polygraph test.

He was informed at a further meeting in August 2013 that he had failed the polygraph test and was told that he was dismissed from the force.

Justice Anderson ruled that the then Commissioner of Police should have afforded Constable Nish the opportunity to respond to the test results.

Nish was represented by attorneys-at-law Zavia Mayne and Paula Martin.