THE former chief constable of Cheshire Police has been named the new chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

Simon Byrne left Cheshire Police after he was cleared of 74 misconduct allegations.

He was accused of bullying and humiliating Cheshire Police staff between May 2014 and March 2017 during a misconduct case, which cost £350,000 in public funds and the panel found 'could and should have been avoided'.

On Friday he was appointed the new chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

As she announced the appointment, Policing Board chairwoman Anne Connolly urged the experienced officer to develop the force’s community focus and professional approach.

He said he was pleased to have been 'totally exonerated' following the allegations he bullied and belittled staff after moving from the Met Police to take up the top role at the Cheshire force in 2014.

A misconduct hearing was told Mr Byrne had a reputation for being like Darth Vader and treated junior officers and staff like 'roadkill'.

The panel heard he handed pictures of Dad’s Army characters to officers after he became angry when flooding made him late for work.

However in its report, the panel found the incident was an example of Mr Byrne’s “approach to leadership” and it was wrong to attribute “malevolent intent” to it.

Afterwards the senior officer said the £350,000 process had gone on too long and wasted precious public money.

He added: “In some ways, it still feels like upside down justice as I have lost my vocation after 35 years of public service.”