Northumbria police officer awaits his fate in misconduct hearing

It is claimed PC Philip Aiston lied and said he had visited the McGann family home but received no response when he was actually five miles away.

But Aiston strongly denies the claims, claiming the card details were incorrect and that he was trying to break the tragic news to the McGanns of their son Martin’s death.

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The hearing ended on Wednesday (September 13) with PC Aiston being cross-examined before the panel retired to decide whether the allegations against him were proven.

Mr Simon Mallett, solicitor for Northumbria Police, questioned Aiston about his actions on the night in question, July 19, 2021.

He said: “The simple fact is that you have not actually visited the property.” PC Aiston replied: “Yes, I have.”

Mr. Mallet asked: “You know that the telematics location shows where you went [North Shields]close to McDonalds and too [another incident]. Do you accept that you said that?”

Aiston replied: “But not at those specific times that the telematics show.”

He also says he missed a trip to see the McGanns at 1:30 a.m. on July 20 and made up a trip past their house a week later, on July 27, when, he says, he only got to the intersection I turned around on her street.

Mr Mallett claimed it was “bizarre” to suggest the telematics would suddenly stop working and “implausible” that Aiston said he had not seen a doorbell at the McGanns’ that he had not rung.

In his closing statement he said: “What he says about telematics is simply unbelievable.

“Did the system produce a phantom trip on July 19th for unknown reasons?

“For some inexplicable reason he suggested the system wasn’t recording it properly. There is no explanation as to how or why this happened, only the office says it did.”

But concluding his argument, Mr Ponte, representing former PC Aiston employee, described a police GPS system as a “standing joke” and said officers knew it didn’t work.

He said: “PC Aiston knows it is a permanent job for some of them. The system is anything but reliable.

“I don’t know why the numbers are wrong, but it must be wrong.

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“You can imagine what it’s like for PC Aiston wanting to shout to you: ‘But I was there’ [on July 20].”

PC Philip Aiston is accused of gross misconduct for failing to inform the McGanns of their son’s death and falsely claiming he had tried to tell them when he had not. He is also accused of visiting her address on July 27 without a legitimate reason.

The misconduct hearing at Houghton-le-Spring police station will conclude on Friday when the panel makes a decision on the allegations. Northumbria police officer awaits his fate in misconduct hearing

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