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Coatbridge Officer Found Guilty Of Lying
“A total cover-up”
A Coatbridge police officer has been found guilty of wilful neglect of duty after lying to protect a fellow cop from being investigated for allegations of drink driving.
PC David Carmichael now faces being sacked, and the possibility of being jailed when he is sentenced next month. He slumped forward in the dock at Airdrie Sheriff Court with his head in his hands as Sheriff Robert Dickson convicted him of what was described as “a total cover-up”.
He radioed back that there had been no answer at the door.
The court heard Carmichael, 41, had been sent to the home of another officer, who had been reported for possibly being drunk at the wheel of a car.
Carmichael realised he knew the officer ( who sadly, just weeks later, took his own life ) and did not ask him to take a breathalyser test, claiming he believed he didn’t have sufficient evidence to suspect him of any offence.
Instead, he radioed back that there had been no answer at the door.
“shocked” and “intimidated”
Sheriff Dickson told him: “There was only a five-minute gap between you and a fellow officer arriving at the house and leaving. There was limited time for any conversation and proper investigations to be made.
“It gives me no pleasure whatsoever to find a serving police officer guilty of wilful neglect of duty. You told your less experienced colleague that you didn’t want to grass up a fellow cop.
“This was an attempt to prevent action against an officer suspected of having driven under the influence of alcohol. You called force control and told them there had been no answer, which was a lie and brought proper enquiries to an end.”
PC Justyna Niedzwiecka, who had been on patrol with Carmichael on October 31 2012, told the court she was “shocked” and “intimidated” by what took place; she was then a probationary officer and said the man had come to the door.
Concluding his evidence this week, Carmichael confirmed this and added: “He took three or four minutes to answer, in fact I had just turned to leave when Justyna called me back saying someone was coming down the stairs.”
In evidence, PC Niedzwiecka recalled: “A male answered. He was sleepy, drunk and confused. His face was red and I could smell alcohol from him. He and Constable Carmichael clearly knew each other.
“We went back to the police car and he told the controller there had been no reply. I was shocked and surprised as it was a lie. We sat there in silence, then I said, ‘it stinks’.
“He replied, ‘you don’t want to grass on another cop or you have no future in the police if something like that happens.’”
PC Carmichael previously told the three-day trial: “It was a silly mistake and I wish it had never taken place.”
He was convicted of wilful neglect of duty and violating the trust and duties of the office of Constable, by failing to make full and proper inquiries and providing a false radio report.
He is also being investigated by the police’s professional standards department.