A SENIOR police officer who escaped punishment despite hurling a stress ball at a colleague has landed a promotion and a £15,000 pay hike.

Deputy Chief Constable Matthew Horne was found to have breached Essex Police’s standards of behaviour earlier this year but is now joining the Metropolitan Police in the role of Deputy Assistant Commissioner.

During a misconduct hearing it emerged the senior officer had launched a tirade of abuse at Det Chief Supt Glenn Maleary in 2015 in a car park outside the Force Control Room in Chelmsford 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.

In two separate incidents, Mr Horne was also said to have thrown a rubber stress ball at Chief Supt Carl O’Malley, hitting him in the throat and leaving a red mark and then pushing him causing him to fall onto a desk.

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

They recommended he was given management advice, but then-Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh decided he should face no further action hailing his service record for all but ten minutes of his 28-year career.

Now a spokesman for Essex Police has confirmed he is leaving the force for a new role in the Met.

His former post is being advertised with an annual salary of £131,067 plus allowances, while his new role is thought to command £146,217 per year plus more than £2,000 in London weighting.

After he escaped punishment, Mr Horne said: “I wish to wholeheartedly and unreservedly to apologise for any distress caused to my colleagues.

“I only want the very best in policing and for the people we serve and I will continue in this vein.”

He added: “I do not want today to detract - for one moment – from the excellent work done by my brave colleagues of Essex Police, who day in and day out put themselves in harm’s way to protect the public.”

“My motivation has, and always will be, to improve policing in order to protect our communities from harm.

“This passion is what drives me every day.”