A FORMER Essex police officer who dodged punishment despite hurling a stress ball at a colleague is now in charge of professional standards at the Metropolitan Police Service.

Matthew Horne was found to have breached Essex Police’s standards of behaviour last year after a tribunal heard he pushed a chief superintendent into a desk before hurling a stress ball at his throat during a “professional disagreement”.

In a separate incident, he was found to have launched a tirade of abuse at the same colleague – Supt Glenn Maleary – in a car park outside the Force Control Room in Chelmsford in a row about the department’s performance.

Mr Horne – who was Assistant Chief Constable at the time – was said to have sworn at Mr Maleary while suggesting “he was history” if things did not improve.

He denied all three allegations, but a panel found them to be proven.

A recommendation he should be given management advice was overturned by then-Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh, who decided Mr Horne should face no further action, hailing his service record for all but ten minutes of his 28-year career.

Mr Horne has now been appointed as Deputy Assistant Commissioner (DAC) for Professionalism at Scotland Yard after moving to the Met last year.

In his £150,000-a-year post, he oversees sensitive anti-corruption investigations and discipline inquiries.

Mr Horne has also been given a key role in deciding what should be published from a scathing report into the Met’s VIP child sex abuse inquiry called Operation Midland.

A spokesman for the Met said: “Like any other officer, when a conduct process has been fully dealt with and concluded, he should be allowed to get on with serving the public.”

Former Met Chief Superintendent Phil Flower, who worked in the force’s professional standards department, said the appointment was ‘disturbing’.

He told the Mail: “Appointment to this post requires the highest levels of demonstrable integrity, calm-headedness and clear thinking.”