Senior Metropolitan Police officer Commander Julian Bennet has been accused of taking cannabis, psychedelic mushrooms and LSD while on holiday in France. The officer allegedly used the substances while holidaying in the south of France between February 2019 and July 2020.
Commander Bennet has been suspended on full pay since July 2021 awaiting an inquiry by the Met’s directorate of professional standards after refusing to take a drug test on 21st July 2020. The reason he provided for refusing the test was that he had taken legal CBD prior to receiving the drug test request and didn’t want it to interfere with the results.
The new accusations surfaced at Bennet’s misconduct hearing yesterday in London, where he was required to answer to allegations related to his alleged drug use, refusal to take a drug test, and why he allegedly lied about his reason to refuse the same drug test.
The emergence of new evidence in the form of Whatsapp messages prompted lawyers defending Mr Bennet to argue that they weren’t supplied with all of the messages, emails and SMSs. This prompted the Commander’s defence to request an adjournment, which was granted by hearing chairman James Tumbridge. The Whatsapp messages are thought to contain a picture showing cannabis on a table.
Mr Bennett joined the force in 1977, giving him 44 years of service. In 2018 he wrote the Metropolitan Police’s drug strategy entitled “Dealing with the impact of drugs on communities” which outlined the force’s plans on how to raise awareness of the dangers of drug misuse. If found guilty of the accusations he faces, Commander Bennet could be dismissed for gross misconduct. The hearing will resume on May 27th this year.