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Cambridge cop hailed for ‘bravery and resilience’ jailed for fraud and drug offences

Coteman was commended 3 years ago for saving a man’s life

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A former Cambridgeshire police officer – once commended for ‘bravery, resilience and quick thinking’ – is behind bars tonight after being jailed for 18 months. Mark Coteman, who served as a PC with Cambridgeshire Constabulary, appeared for sentencing today at Cambridge Crown Court today (8 July) after earlier pleading guilty to three charges.

He had admitted:

1: Offering to supply class C drugs (steroids) to associates.

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2: Using a police computer system to review incidents and provide information to others outside of the organisation.

3: Committing fraud by falsely representing his financial situation to benefit from an IVA (an Individual Voluntary Arrangement which allows you pay off all or part of your debts).

The investigation into the drug supply was directed by the Independent Office for Police Conduct while the other charges came about as a result of the efforts of the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Anti-Corruption Unit and the Regional Anti-Corruption Intelligence Unit.

Coteman was dismissed without notice from the force on 14 May after he was found guilty of gross misconduct at a special case hearing chaired by Chief Constable Nick Dean in Tempsford.

Chief constable Nick Dean (left) who had previously commended disgraced police officer Mark Coteman (right) for bravery, resilience, and quick thinking’

Chief constable Nick Dean (left) who had previously commended disgraced police officer Mark Coteman (right) for ‘bravery, resilience, and quick thinking’

He was found to have breached the standards of professional behaviour in respect of equality and diversity, discreditable conduct, challenging and reporting improper conduct, integrity and authority, respect and courtesy.

Chief Constable Nick Dean said: “The public quite rightly expect the highest standard of professionalism from our officers and staff, and we are determined to ensure that those who breach these standards are held to account.

“Any officer committing a criminal offence clearly dents public trust, both locally and across the police service. In this case it is beyond question that trust and confidence in policing has been damaged.

“His actions were deliberate, pre-meditated and planned and there can be no place in policing for such people.”

One time hero cop Coteman of Cambridge was commended three years ago for saving the life of a man threatening self-harm.

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In 2021 chief constable Dean commended PC Coteman, and three of his colleagues, for ‘bravery, resilience and quick thinking’.

All four had helped save the life of a man who was self-harming while trying to jump from Addenbrooke’s Hospital car park.

Coteman and a colleague were first on scene and heard screaming. Running up the stairs they found a trail of blood leading to the man.

He and another officer jumped over the barrier, stood on small ledges, and managed to restrain the man before pulling him back to safety.

During the misconduct hearing in May, PC Coteman and another officer, PC Oliver Austin, were found guilty of gross misconduct on unrelated offences.

The misconduct hearing related to text messages exchanged between the pair.

The messages were discovered when a phone belonging to PC Coteman was seized by the police in relation to the separate inquiry into his actions.

The force downloaded contents of the mobile phone and discovered messages that have been identified as containing “racial, discriminatory, inappropriate, offensive and misogynistic content” in the form of messages, photos and videos.

The messages were identified as being sent to and from the personal phones belonging to PC Austin and PC Coteman.

PC Austin accepted that on reflection, the messages were not acceptable or appropriate.

Both were found to have breached the standards of professional behaviour in respect of equality and diversity, discreditable conduct, challenging and reporting improper conduct, integrity and authority, respect and courtesy.

The special case hearing was held at Lysander House in Station Road, Tempsford, and concluded that PC Coteman be dismissed without notice while PC Austin was given a final written warning.

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