News 1 August 2023

Senior police officer who wrote drug strategy for force accused of smoking weed every day before work

1 August 2023
met police

A senior Metropolitan police commander is facing a disciplinary tribunal after allegations emerged that he regularly smoked cannabis before going to work.

The tribunal, held in Southwark, London, heard testimony from a nurse who lived with Julian Bennett towards the end of 2019.

Sheila Gomes described the flat they shared as being “like an Amsterdam coffee shop,” with cannabis use starting early in the morning, before breakfast and work.

Gomes said, “I didn’t like it at all. Why did I have to live in a place where it was just cannabis in the air? I was just trying to breathe oxygen.

“He [Bennett] was the one who was using the cannabis, I will say a few times during the day he would bring it in. If he would go to work, [he would do it] at least before going to work and arriving at home.”

There were also “hearsay” allegations that Bennett took magic mushrooms and LSD while on holiday and at a party, respectively.

Bennett, who joined the Met in 1976 and wrote the force’s drug strategy, denies the allegations and is currently suspended on full pay. The tribunal is set to continue for the week.

[Image via Shutterstock]