Police Drug Strategist Accused of Using Drugs!

Liz Filmer
08 Sep 2022

A senior Metropolitan police commander who penned the force's drug strategy between 2017 to 2021 allegedly smoked cannabis daily in front of his lodger. 

A disciplinary panel was told that CommanderJulian Bennett threatened to resign after being asked to take a drug test on 21 July 2020. Mr Bennett claimed he had taken CBD for a medical disorder that induced embarrassing facial symptoms. 

At a hearing in south-west London last week, a police legal representative said that Mr Bennett's explanation for refusing to comply with the test was implausible.

"He tried to resign on the spot, asked someone to go to speak to the commissioner and ask if she would let him resign. He then provided an explanation for why he thought his sample might be positive. Why would you provide that explanation but then refuse to give a sample? It makes no sense." -Police Representative at Hearing.

He went on to say, however, that refusing to take the test "does make sense if you think your sample will reveal that you are a habitual user of cannabis" or conflicts with the idea that you used CBD oil alone.

Sheila Gomes, A nurse that Bennett took in as his lodger for eight to 10 weeks in late 2019, was the one to contact police about the alleged drug use months after she had moved out.

Mr Bennets' defence stated, "Are you seriously saying that he got his weed out every day and smoked it in front of you and no one [at his work] smelled it?" The defence also claimed that Gomes had thought about writing a book on the matter, which might prompt her to spice up the story.

The barrister for the police dismissed this, labelling the idea of her writing a book as a "throwaway comment". "If her motivation is money, she's gone about it in a funny way, rather than going straight to the papers she's reported it to the Police". 

Bennett has been suspended on full pay for the last two years as the matter has been investigated. Bennet is also accused of taking LSD and magic mushrooms. 

During his 45-year-long career, Bennet was known as "Sacker" from residing over many disciplinary proceedings and dismissing dozens of officers, including two for drug use.

Liz Filmer