This is the first picture of the senior Metropolitan Police officer who told Des O’Connor’s daughter that she was ‘amazingly hot’ after she was the victim of an attempted mugging.
Detective Chief Inspector James Mason who is a former aide of Cressida Dick made the remark to Kristina O’Connor, 33, while asking her for a date after taking her statement.
Last October he was found guilty of gross misconduct that was sexually motivated, but was only barred from any promotion for the next three years.
It was revealed on Sunday that Ms O’Connor is taking legal action against the Metropolitan Police for ‘enabling and normalising’ misogyny after Mason was allowed to keep his job.
The daughter of singer Des who died aged 88 in November 2020 has filed a judicial review against the Met and the head of the police misconduct panel, saying that they failed to properly deal with her complaint.
Her lawyers claim that Mason’s ‘discriminatory and predatory’ behaviour was not adequately addressed due to a flawed misconduct hearing.
The case is being seen as another hammer blow for Scotland Yard’s embattled Commissioner Cressida Dick who is fighting to keep her job after a series of scandals, amid claims that she has failed to fully tackle racist and misogynistic behaviour by officers.
The force has repeatedly faced heavy criticism since Sarah Everard, 33, was abducted, raped and murdered PC Wayne Couzens in a case that outraged Britain last March.
DCI James Mason, 43, made inappropriate advances with ‘sexual overtones’ hearing was told
Kristina O’Connor, 33, is pursuing a legal claim against the Met Police over its handling of DCI James Mason’s misconduct investigation after the officer kept his job
Miss O’Connor is the daughter of late entertainer Des O’Connor (pictured together), who died in 2020; and she is a musician in her own right
Last month the academic Dr Koshka Duff finally won compensation and an apology after an incident in 2013 when she was strip-searched as Met officers laughed and made comments including: ‘What’s that smell? Oh, it’s her knickers.’
Two Met officers were jailed last December for taking selfies at the murder scene where black sisters Nicole Smallman, 27, and Bibaa Henry, 46, were found stabbed to death in a London park in June 2020.
In another shocking case last week, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) found that Met officers at Charing Cross police station had sent messages which joked about rape, domestic violence and killing black children.
Sadiq Khan today ordered the Commissioner to clean up her force in ‘a matter of days and weeks’ or face losing her job.
The Mayor of London told of his dismay that nine out of 14 officers criticised in the probe at Charing Cross were still in their jobs, and two had been promoted.
Ms O’Connor revealed how a gang of young men on bikes tried to grab her phone when she was on her way to Sainsbury’s in Camden, north London, on a Sunday afternoon in October 2011.
She held on to her phone, but ended up with a black eye after being elbowed in the face.
Ms O’Connor posted a Facebook video last night about a new Patreon which mentioned case
Detective Chief Inspector James Mason who is a former aide of Cressida Dick made the remark
DCI James Mason has been described as an aide to Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick, who is under fire to improve professional standards and vetting procedures in the force
Emails between DCI Mason and Kristina O’Connor
The day after she reported her attack, Miss O’Connor got back in touch with DCI Mason to check on the progress of the investigation.
Below are some of the messages they exchanged between them.
MASON: ‘Please look after yourself while you’re out in Camden.
‘Hopefully you will not be a victim of crime again but if you ever fancy having a drink with a very discreet police officer just let me know, it would be my pleasure.
‘If you have any visible injuries that you would like me to record then I am happy to take a picture for you and save it in case we manage to get any further in the investigation. I hope it doesn’t hurt too much and I am sure you still look amazingly hot.”
O’CONNOR: ‘You’re presuming that I’m unaffected enough by the crime to come on to me? Isn’t there some kind of code of practice that you are breaking right now?’
MASON: ‘Kristina, have faith in my detective ability and experience. Actually, coming on to victims is positively encouraged, it’s all part of the friendly and accessible face of the Met Police. It’s the rejection that’s frowned upon.’
O’CONNOR: ‘You have no shame! You could get fired for this!’
MASON: ‘You are probably right on both counts. I can assure that I am as determined in my pursuit of criminals as I am of beautiful women if that helps. You know where I am if you ever change your mind or need a friendly police officer.’
After dialling 101, she gave a statement to Mason who was then a Detective Sergeant at Kentish Town police station.
Mason demanded to know in the interview if she had a boyfriend, and when she revealed that she had been working as a croupier at the Playboy casino in London, he asked whether she wore a bunny outfit.
She emailed Mason the day after the attack to ask how the police investigation was progressing and whether her phone might be taken for fingerprinting.
He replied on his official police email: ‘Please look after yourself while you’re out in Camden. Hopefully you will not be a victim of crime again but if you ever fancy having a drink with a very discreet police officer just let me know, it would be my pleasure.
‘If you have any visible injuries that you would like me to record then I am happy to take a picture for you and save it in case we manage to get any further in the investigation. I hope it doesn’t hurt too much and I am sure you still look amazingly hot.’
Ms O’Connor replied: ‘You’re presuming that I’m unaffected enough by the crime to come on to me? Isn’t there some kind of code of practice that you are breaking right now?’
The officer emailed back, referring to her as his ‘favourite Camden victim of crime’ and saying: ‘Kristina, have faith in my detective ability and experience.
‘Actually, coming on to victims is positively encouraged, it’s all part of the friendly and accessible face of the Met Police. It’s the rejection that’s frowned upon.’
Ms O’Connor angrily responded: ‘You have no shame! You could get fired for this!’
But Mason failed to apologise for his tone, and emailed her back, saying: ‘You are probably right on both counts.
‘I can assure that I am as determined in my pursuit of criminals as I am of beautiful women if that helps. You know where I am if you ever change your mind or need a friendly police officer.’
Ms O’Connor who is now a musician only reported the email exchange last year, saying it had taken ‘strength and courage’ to finally confront what had happened.
She told the Sunday Times: ‘By speaking out now I want to encourage more women to come forward about their negative experiences with the police.
‘It’s difficult and takes courage, I know, but if enough women speak out, the Met won’t be able to dismiss them as “one-offs”.’
Mason claimed during the misconduct hearing that he only asked if Ms O’Connor had a boyfriend when taking her statement out of concern about her having support as a victim.
He was given a final written warning, which will last three years, and will also remain at his current rank for at least three years, despite having recently qualifying for a promotion.
The panel chose not to punish him more severely because of his remorse and ‘excellent service record’.
Panel chair Christopher McKay said: ‘In attempting to establish an improper relationship with a victim of a crime, DCI Mason damaged the relationship of trust between police and the public.’
He added: ‘The panel do not minimise the seriousness, however this was misconduct over an otherwise blameless career over 20 years.
‘The delay in this matter is mainly due to the delay [the woman] making a complaint to the Metropolitan Police. The issues arising currently are very topical but were much less so in 2011.’
Mason received a commendation for resilience and professionalism in his handling of the response to the Westminster Bridge terrorist attack in 2018.
He started his career at Belgravia police station before working as a Detective Sergeant in Hackney and Camden.
He became a staff officer for Met commissioner Cressida Dick in 2019 working in counter-terrorism before moving to the Central Specialist Crime Unit, the Flying Squad, which specifically investigates robberies, where he currently serves.
Lawyers for Ms O’Connor say her complaint should have been investigated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct as it involved alleged abuse of power for a sexual purpose and alleged discrimination.
Her judicial review claim, filed last month, says that her complaint amounted to sex discrimination and operational misconduct as well as a breach of standards of integrity, authority, respect, courtesy and discreditable conduct.
Ms O’Connor added: ‘The first step would be the Met acknowledging there’s a culture of misogyny.
‘Even in the tiny minority of cases like mine, where the perpetrator is brought before a panel, charged and finally convicted of misconduct, my experience tells me that they are still protected, their jobs considered more important than my safety and my faith in the police.
‘If what I have seen is the process by which the Met is held to account … it is woefully inadequate, and something needs to change.’
Speaking about how she gave her statement to Mason, she said: ‘It felt like a chat with someone that was trying to pick me up at the bar.
‘I felt like I had to go along with it because he’s the police and it was only me and him in a room alone. I felt completely alone and isolated.’
Ms O’Connor also described how he quizzed her about whether she wore a bunny outfit, saying: ‘Men just heard the word Playboy and take it as a free pass to be inappropriate,’
She added: ‘The Met can no longer just deny that there’s a really deep-rooted problem that needs acknowledging.
‘The problematic individuals need rooting out completely and there needs to be some serious reform now, because the system isn’t working.’
She revealed how her experience had eroded her trust in the police, saying. “There were a number of times when I needed help and considered calling the police but didn’t feel safe to do so and didn’t want to invite more unwelcome behaviour into my home.
‘I still feel as likely to be harmed by a police officer as I am from a stranger on the street.’
Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC, who is representing her, said: ‘This is not about a few ‘bad apples’. This is about rotten trees and a rotten orchard.
‘This case shows endemic, structural failures in how the force deals with discrimination against and harassment of women.
‘Not only are women subjected to terrifying ordeals at the hands of abusive officers, but when they come forward to report gender-based harassment they will not be treated appropriately by the police. We and our client hope that this case will lead to real, tangible change.’
A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: ‘We recognise there is a need for real change in the Met. We are committed to creating an environment that is intolerant to those who do not uphold the high values and standards expected of us.
‘This work has been ongoing in recent months and will continue with the independent, far-reaching review led by Baroness Casey of Blackstock. The review will ask difficult questions of us to ensure there are lasting improvements to the service we provide for all Londoners.’
The spokesperson insisted that victims of crime should have the ‘confidence and trust’ to approach police and receive ‘support and professionalism’.
In cases where this did not happen, the force would learn and, if appropriate, take disciplinary action, the spokesperson added.
Worst-performing police force solves just one in 140 rapes: Fury at ‘pathetic and terrifying’ prosecution rates as victims face postcode lottery in battle for justice
Just one in 140 rapes are being solved by Britain’s worst performing police force, as official figures show that a victim’s chances of their attacker being prosecuted can double depending on which side of a street they live.
Only 0.7 per cent of rapes reported to Wiltshire Police resulted in a charge or summons, whereas Durham – the most successful force – had more than 10 times the success rate in bringing prosecutions at 7.1 per cent, according to Home Office data for the three years from 2018-19 to 2020-21.
Astonishingly, Cleveland – the police force neighbouring Durham – solved just half as many rapes during the same period, the figures compiled by Police Federation researcher Gavin Hales and seen by the Telegraph show.
Victims’ Commissioner Dame Vera Baird slammed the ‘pathetic and terrifying’ figures and warned that women were being deterred from reporting street harassment because of the ‘appallingly low’ rape prosecution rates.
She also urged the Government to put violence against women on a par with terrorism, county lines drug-dealing and child sexual exploitation by including it in its national Strategic Policing Requirements.
‘There is no difference between rape in Durham and rape in Wiltshire or Cleveland. What is different is the effort and skill put into investigating and prosecuting rape by some forces over others. None of these figures are anything but appallingly low. There is no crime with prosecution percentages as pathetic and terrifying as these across the board,’ Dame Vera told the paper.
A Wiltshire Police spokesman told MailOnline it had been ‘working hard’ to improve outcomes, with the level of rapes resulting in a charge rising from 3.8 per cent in October last year to 4.1 per cent this month.