Two police organisations have refused to answer questions about a criminal investigation into a serving officer, who died before a decision was taken on whether to charge him.

PC Ryan Gadsden was due to answer bail on November 22, 2023, but was found dead in a Romford park on September 25.

A coroner this week stopped witnesses from giving any details of the criminal investigation into Gadsden, 23, of Hailsham Road, Harold Hill, in open court.

Nadia Persaud said details of the criminal case were irrelevant to the inquest, even though Gadsden mentioned it in two apparent suicide notes written in the weeks before his death.

In March, The Mirror reported that Gadsden had been suspended from duty after being accused of grooming younger female cadets.

Press officers for the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) this week refused to deny that report or give any detail of the allegations Gadsden faced.

They said they would not release details on the day of his inquest out of respect for his family.

However, they had also not released the details in the preceding two months, claiming it "wasn't appropriate" then either.

They would not say when they would release the details.

Gadsden was arrested in May 2023 on suspicion of misconduct in a public office, then told in August that further allegations had been made, East London Coroner’s Court heard.

But no details were given as to what the original or further allegations actually were.

A document shown on a large screen in open court did reveal that Gadsden, who joined the Metropolitan Police Service in 2019, was accused in 2020 of stalking an ex-girlfriend.

Following convictions of officers like Wayne Couzens, who murdered Sarah Everard, and rapist David Carrick, the Metropolitan Police Service published a document last year called A New Met For London, promising greater transparency and accountability to restore public trust.

But the force’s press office this week refused to give any details of the allegations Gadsden faced – even though it was the Met that asked the IOPC to investigate.

In letters written in a notebook in the weeks preceding his death – but not found until weeks after his death – Gadsden wrote of his fear that he faced “a custodial sentence”.

“I’ve always tried my best to be helpful and hardworking,” he wrote in one. “But then I’ve been arrested.”

Romford Recorder: An inquest into the death of 23-year-old Romford police officer Ryan Gadsden was held at East London Coroner's Court, Walthamstow, on Monday, May 13An inquest into the death of 23-year-old Romford police officer Ryan Gadsden was held at East London Coroner's Court, Walthamstow, on Monday, May 13 (Image: Charles Thomson)

The court heard Gadsden, who volunteered and raised money for good causes from a young age, was an award-winning police cadet before applying to become an officer the day he turned 18. 

His family described him as a “conscientious, reliable worker”, telling Mrs Persaud: “He worked hard and enjoyed helping others. Ryan got on with people of all ages.”

A star student at school, he overcame verbal dyspraxia to achieve 11 GCSEs at grades A* to B, then three A-levels, but turned down an offer to study law at university, opting to join the police instead.

His inquest, on Monday, May 13, heard evidence from Det Con John Farthing from the City of London Police’s professional standards department.

He found that an error in paperwork served on Gadsden had “undermined Ryan’s confidence in the IOPC investigation”.

The paperwork said his home had been searched for 30 minutes, whereas when Gadsden checked his home CCTV it showed the police had been there for hours.

“Incompetent or corrupt,” he wrote in a handwritten letter soon before his death, which was ruled to be suicide.

The IOPC said after the inquest: “Our sympathies are with the family and friends of Ryan Gadsden and everyone affected by his death.

“Our investigation began following a conduct referral from the force [the Met] in March 2023.

“It was paused in September after the force notified us of his death. A decision was subsequently made not to continue with the criminal aspect of our investigation.

“However, our statutory framework requires us to complete our misconduct investigation.”

Asked why it had referred Gadsden to the IOPC, the Met's press office refused to answer.

Asked how it reconciled its refusal to answer questions with the promises made upon the launch of the New Met For London document, a press officer refused to answer that either.

The force said: “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of PC Ryan Gadsden.

“As the inquest has heard, PC Gadsden was allocated a welfare support officer at the earliest possible opportunity.

“He remained in contact with PC Gadsden throughout the time he was suspended.”

When life is difficult, the Samaritans is available 365 days, 24/7. Call for free on 116 123, email, or visit