The daughter of one of Britain’s best-known entertainers said she will “keep fighting for justice for women” after losing a High Court battle with the Metropolitan Police over a complaint about a detective who said she was “amazingly hot”.
Kristina O’Connor, whose father was the late Des O’Connor, said James Mason made “inappropriate” comments after she met him while reporting a crime.
Ms O’Connor, who is in her 30s, complained about Mr Mason’s conduct – then challenged the police disciplinary process in the High Court.
She took legal action against the Police Misconduct Panel and Metropolitan Police – complaining that a police misconduct panel failed to address Mr Mason’s “predatory and abusive” actions and that the Met “failed to properly investigate” a complaint.
Police chiefs and the misconduct panel disputed her claims.
Mr Justice Swift, who considered arguments at High Court hearings in London earlier this year, on Friday ruled against Ms O’Connor and dismissed her application for “judicial review”.
The judge said it was “sufficient” that the “steps that were taken” during the disciplinary investigation were “both reasonable and appropriate”.
He added in a written ruling: “While this was a case of sexual harassment, the panel was entitled to have in mind precisely what the harassment had comprised.”
The judge said the disciplinary panel was entitled to “attach weight” to the fact the complaint was made many years after “the misconduct had occurred” and to Mr Mason’s previous record of “good service”.
Lawyers representing Ms O’Connor said they are planning to appeal.
Ms O’Connor said, after the ruling: “This has been a frustrating process, and it is not the outcome I was hoping for but I want to keep fighting for justice for women.”
Lawyer Nancy Collins, who represents her and is based at Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors, said: “It is very disappointing that the High Court has dismissed Kristina O’Connor’s challenge to the police disciplinary process.”
She said Ms O’Connor has been “courageous” and “brave”.
Ms O’Connor was sent numerous inappropriate messages by Mr Mason, then a detective sergeant, after he responded to her report of an attempted robbery in October 2011, the judge was told.
A police misconduct panel found that Mr Mason “deliberately and repeatedly abused his position for a sexual purpose” and his conduct “amounted to gross misconduct”.
He was given a final written warning.
Mr Mason resigned from the Met late in 2022, the judge was told.
Lawyers representing Ms O’Connor said the force “failed to properly investigate” her complaint.
They said a police misconduct panel failed to address “predatory and abusive” actions.
Lawyers representing the misconduct panel and the Met disputed claims about the way they handled the process.