Page last updated at 18:04 GMT, Wednesday, 24 September 2008 19:04 UK

Force settles detective dispute

Ellie Baker
Ellie Baker has left West Midlands Police

The West Midlands Police force has settled a long-running dispute with its former head of CID.

Det Ch Supt Ellie Baker was suspended in 2002 over allegations that she manipulated an elderly man into giving her gifts, and cleared the next year.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) found in 2006 that the force had tried to be fair to her.

A personal injury case was due to be heard in November, but an out-of-court settlement was reached on Tuesday.

Ms Baker's lawyers had been seeking about 1m in damages from the force, the BBC understands.

I did contemplate suicide
Ellie Baker

The force said it had "settled all disputes" with Ms Baker on "very amicable terms" which would "remain confidential".

Its statement added: "West Midlands Police acknowledges the debt which it and the people of the West Midlands owe to former Ch Supt Baker for her many years of services and wishes her well for the future."

Ms Baker was suspended in 2002 over claims she had manipulated Professor Norman Dudley into giving her gifts.

An investigation cleared the officer and she went back to work a year later.

Officers cleared

Ms Baker claimed she was subject to a campaign of isolation during her year-long suspension and said she had endured "every type of emotional trauma possible".

She said her telephone calls were monitored and she and her friends were put under surveillance.

Talking to BBC News after her retirement in December 2004, she described how the case had had a profound effect on her health.

Ellie Baker on a 1970s police recruitment poster
Ms Baker featured on 1970s police recruitment posters

She said: "I think that I had to endure every type of emotional trauma and stress that was possible for such a long period of time that, yes, I did contemplate suicide."

She added: "I can't begin to tell you how embarrassing this has all been for me.

"I've lost my self-esteem over it, some confidence I initially lost over it and it was just very, very embarrassing.

"The most ludicrous allegations were made by people."

Ms Baker called for an inquiry, but in June 2006 the IPCC concluded the force had made an effort to be fair to her.

The IPCC inquiry cleared Deputy Chief Constable Chris Sims, Supt Mick Treble and the Chief Constable of Leicestershire Matt Baggot of breaches of conduct regulations.

Ms Baker was one of the force's few female officers when she joined and featured on poster campaigns aimed at recruiting more women to the police in the 1970s.

By 2002 she had risen to become a detective chief superintendent and was the highest ranked female officer in the country.


SEE ALSO
Inquiry into detective's claims
07 Jun 05 |  West Midlands
Inquiry detective gets apology
07 Jan 04 |  West Midlands
Cleared detective wants inquiry
08 Nov 04 |  West Midlands

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