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Sacked copper angry over Essex Police's decision
3:00pm Thursday 6th February 2014 in News
A POLICE officer sacked for gross misconduct has hit out against the decision.
Mark Jones, from Sible Hedingham, was dismissed from Essex Police following an internal hearing last Thursday.
The decision came after an incident in Chelmer Village in October 2012 when Mr Jones, a police constable, was going to make an arrest.
During an altercation between Mr Jones and a group of youths, it was alleged the officer grabbed a 14-year-old by the neck and pushed him into a bush, and later lied about the incident.
But Mr Jones, who had been with the force for 12 years and has received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, claims he was treated unfairly by Essex Police and is now looking to appeal against the decision at an employment tribunal.
The father-of-four, who was cleared at a magistrates’ court trial of assaulting the teenager, says the decision to sack him was part of “bullying” and “persecution” against him by senior officers.
“I was not a ‘yes’ man, I was not afraid to challenge orders and ask if it was the right thing to do, and they didn’t want people like me in the force or influencing new starters,” Mr Jones said.
“Because I didn’t necessarily toe the corporate line I have been got rid of.
“The incident itself did not happen the way it was alleged to have happened, and they have twisted the evidence to their own ends.
“He fell backwards and I instinctively went to reach out to save him.
“I have been treated incredibly unfairly from the outset.”
He admitted using one swear word against the teenager, which in hindsight he regrets, but argues he had tried being polite and was using language the youth would understand.
Mr Jones, 40, said: “I am very frustrated and upset, and I feel let down.
“I have given Essex Police 12 years of my life, and it does take over your life, and it comes to this.
“I have a family to look after and I need to try to keep a roof over my head.
“My family have been very upset and I am worried about the impact on their health.”
AFTER the decision by the disciplinary panel Assistant Chief Constable Julia Wortley said: "On this occasion the officer’s conduct fell significantly below that expected by Essex Police and to retain his services could only serve to undermine public confidence in the force.
“Accordingly the panel was of the view the only appropriate outcome in this case was to dismiss the officer without notice.
“I would like to thank the victim in this case and a number of young people who willingly gave their time to give evidence throughout the investigation and the misconduct hearing.”
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