Pioneering gay police officer pleads guilty to drug charges

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A senior London police officer who was awarded an MBE for his services to diversity has pleaded guilty to drug offences and has been spared jail.

Chief Inspector Paul Cahill, who broke barriers when he appeared on the cover of Gay Times magazine in full uniform in 1997, was awarded an MBE for his diversity work in the 2003 New Year Honours.

(An image of the Gay Times cover featuring Cahill was removed from this article at the request of Gay Times magazine)

He was arrested on December 1 last year, after he was found slumped over the wheel of his car in Wandsworth.

Appearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, the 43-year-old pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of Class A drugs, one count of possession of Class B drugs and one count of possession of Class C drug.

Given a conditional discharge for 12 months, he was ordered to pay £85 in costs with a £15 victim surcharge.

Cahill remains suspended from the Metropolitan Police, and a misconduct investigation will now take place.

After joining the police in 1990, Cahill said it was “virtually not acceptable to be gay”, and later appeared on the cover of Gay Times in his sergeant’s uniform.

The victim of a homophobic attack, Cahill was the chairman of the Gay Police Association for more than ten years and worked as an LGBT liaison officer in Soho.