Page last updated at 09:22 GMT, Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Todd lifestyle 'damaged police'

Michael Todd
Michael Todd was found dead near the summit of Snowdon

The personal life of former Greater Manchester Police chief Michael Todd damaged the reputation of British policing, a report has concluded.

Extra-marital affairs he conducted did not impact on his ability to do the job, the inquiry by West Midlands chief Sir Paul Scott-Lee found.

But there was "significant potential for compromise" to his position as chief constable, the report said.

Mr Todd, 50, was found dead near the summit of Snowdon last year.

Sir Paul's inquiry was ordered to look into whether Mr Todd's personal life had adversely affected his duties as chief constable of Greater Manchester Police (GMP).

Details of his relationships with other women emerged after his death on 11 March, and an inquest heard that he had been confronted by his wife about an extra-marital affair.

He sent a series of text messages to unnamed persons saying he was in "a dark place" and expressing a wish to kill himself in the days before he died.

His lifestyle has not only affected his family but also adversely impacted upon the reputation of the Police Service
Sir Paul's report

In a narrative verdict, a coroner ruled that Mr Todd died of exposure when his state of mind was affected by alcohol, a sleeping drug and confusion due to his personal situation.

But the 12-page report concluded there was "no evidence that these relationships adversely affected the day to day discharge of his duties as chief constable".

It said: "The personal lifestyle of Michael Todd brought with it significant potential for compromise to him as chief constable.

"However, this examination has found no evidence that he was compromised in this role."

The report did, however, state that his lifestyle "not only affected his family but also adversely impacted upon the reputation of the Police Service".

Michael Todd and Gordon Brown
Michael Todd was tipped as a future Met Police chief

Sir Paul's inquiry team interviewed 150 people over 10 months, but could not force anyone to speak to them.

They found that Mr Todd was held in the highest regard as a "charismatic and highly professional leader" who had transformed the performance of GMP.

He kept a clear separation between his professional role and life outside work, including his family in Nottinghamshire, the inquiry team said.

Reacting to the findings, Councillor Paul Murphy, chair of the Greater Manchester Police Authority (GMPA), acknowledged Mr Todd's "significant contribution" to improving the force.

Contract doubt

But he said that the inquiry had raised questions about the former chief constable's "judgement and integrity".

Mr Murphy said had the extent of his extra marital affairs been made known, his vetting status would have been reviewed and his contract may not have been renewed.

GMP's new chief constable, Peter Fahy, said that Mr Todd had provided quality leadership and left a great legacy.

He added that during the inquiry GMP staff had kept their focus on trying to reduce crime and increase public confidence.

"The Force now needs to move on and concentrate on further improving the service we provide to the people of Greater Manchester," said Mr Fahy.

'Loving father'

Mr Todd, who had been tipped as a future Metropolitan Police commissioner, was appointed chief constable in Greater Manchester, England's third largest force, in October 2002.

The father-of-three from Halam, Nottinghamshire, had been a police officer since joining Essex Police in 1976.

In a statement released through the force, Mr Todd's widow, Carolyn, from Nottinghamshire, said her husband had joined the police "to make a difference".

"He achieved his ambition. Michael was not just a dedicated police officer, but also a loving father and husband. He is deeply missed," she added.

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