A male police officer has won a “strikingly unfair” sex discrimination case, after a female police chief criticised the “macho culture” of his unit.

A Tribunal ruled that Chief Inspector Adrian Denby was “unfairly punished” by Deputy Assistant Commissioner Maxine de Brunner, who brought legal action against the Chief Inspector after witnessing a male officer walking across the office wearing just a towel during an unplanned visit.

Ms de Brunner told a tribunal that the incident was her “pet hate”, and had made her very angry.

Mr Denby who was in charge of the Territorial Support Group unit at the station, was placed under investigation upon telling Ms de Brunner that his colleagues had to walk from the showers to their lockers.

The Chief Inspector is said to have been discriminated against as a result, after extreme allegations were made against him on grounds of cheating his hours and operating an off-licence from within the police station.

A Tribunal heard that Mr Denby, a highly respected officer who had previously won nine commendations and was seconded to Afghanistan to set up the police force, had his powers restricted and promotion opportunities curtailed during the investigation.

A Judge ruled that Mr Denby’s case was “striking for its unfairness”, and concluded that The Metropolitan Police’s unfair treatment of the Chief Inspector was down to his sex.

A damages hearing will take place later this year.