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‘Hero to zero’ Cambs cop sacked 6 days before Crown Court sentencing on drugs and fraud charges

Since January 2022 there have been 15 misconduct hearings at Cambridgeshire Constabulary

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One time hero cop Mark Coteman of Cambridge, commended three years ago for saving the life of a man threatening self-harm, was sacked yesterday for gross misconduct. Chief Constable Nick Dean chaired a disciplinary panel which heard that PC Coteman is due to appear at Chelmsford Crown Court for sentencing on May 20 after admitting offering to supply Class C drugs, fraud, and misuse of a police computer.

“Any officer committing a criminal offence causes harm and in this case it is beyond question that such harm has been caused,” said Mr Dean after the hearing.

“His actions were deliberate, pre-meditated and planned. My determination is that the least severe outcome that deals adequately with the issues whilst maintaining public confidence is dismissal without notice.”

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Which is a far cry from 2021 when Mr 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.

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

Disgraced police officer Mark Coteman who once received an award for ‘bravery, resilience, and quick thinking’

PC 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.

Next Monday, however, PC Coteman will be sentenced after pleading guilty on April 16 at Colchester magistrates court to:

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

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).

At an earlier hearing yesterday PC Coteman and another officer, PC Oliver Austin, faced were found guilty of gross misconduct on unrelated offences.

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

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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.

At yesterday’s hearing 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 held yesterday morning (14 May), at Lysander House in Station Road, Tempsford, concluded that PC Coteman be dismissed without notice while PC Austin was given a final written warning.

Chief Constable Nick Dean chaired a disciplinary panel which heard that PC Coteman is due to appear at Chelmsford Crown Court for sentencing on May 20 after admitting offering to supply Class C drugs, fraud, and misuse of a police computer

Chief Constable Nick Dean chaired a disciplinary panel which heard that PC Mark Coteman is due to appear at Chelmsford Crown Court for sentencing on May 20 after admitting offering to supply Class C drugs, fraud, and misuse of a police computer

Mr Dean of these hearings: “The public would expect that officers act with the utmost professionalism.

“We operate in an environment where the scrutiny of what we do, both on and off duty is constantly under question and rightly so. In this case harm has been caused to the reputation of the Constabulary, the police service and importantly it has dented the trust and confidence that the public have in police.

“The messages were offensive, inappropriate, and contained content that was racist, misogynistic, and offensive. Their actions were against the professional code of conduct that we expect officers to adhere to.”

Footnote: Since January 2022 there have been 15 misconduct hearings at Cambridgeshire Constabulary, 93 per cent of them held in public.

 

 

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