Lincolnshire PC filmed himself on phone driving police van

A former police officer who filmed himself listening to music while driving a marked vehicle has been found guilty of gross misconduct.

PC Matthew Breathwick took the footage while driving a police van at 50mph along the A17 before sharing the clip with colleagues on Snapchat.

He resigned from Lincolnshire Police in March after being convicted of using a handheld mobile phone while driving.

A police panel ruled he should have been sacked had he not already left.

Breathwick recorded the footage while driving near Long Sutton on the evening on 6 November, the hearing was told.

When colleagues in the van saw the footage on Snapchat he claimed his phone camera had been activated by his coat while still in his stab vest.

However, one officer was so angry she asked to be dropped off at the side of the road.

‘Beggars belief’

The hearing was told Breathwick lied again the following day when challenged by a senior officer.

David Ring, prosecuting, said: “To be blunt it beggars belief that a serving police officer behaved in that way, especially at night, driving at 50mph on the A17.”

He said Breathwick’s conduct went against the force’s campaign to highlight the dangers of using handheld mobile phones while driving.

“A police officer, while on duty, doing exactly what the public are told not to do,” Mr Ring added.

Breathwick, who did not attend the hearing, admitted four charges of professional misconduct.

On his behalf, Sgt Lee Willoughby from Lincolnshire Police Federation said: “There is genuine remorse, a silly act has resulted in the end of a previously unblemished career.”

Lincolnshire Police Chief Constable Chris Haward found Breathwick guilty of gross misconduct and ruled the officer would have been dismissed if he had not already resigned.

Mr Haward said, however, it was a decision he had made with a “heavy heart” after reading a wealth of testimonials about the officer.

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