Face of shamed cop who tried to hide

HE THOUGHT he could hide from the world.But today shamed cop Mark Daniel is being forced to face the consequences of being found with a vice girl in Ipswich.

HE THOUGHT he could hide from the world.

But today shamed cop Mark Daniel is being forced to face the consequences of being found with a vice girl in Ipswich.

Daniel, 34, of Brantham, was convicted yesterday of kerb crawling, six months after five women working as prostitutes were found dead in the area.

Today his job is under threat, he has been given a fine and he can no longer shy away from his actions.

Daniel, a detective sergeant with the Metropolitan Police and who is also a parish councillor in Brantham denied an offence of soliciting and had done his best to remain anonymous by walking in and out of court wearing a motorcycle helmet.

But a court artist yesterday captured his shamed face so his identity can be revealed.

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Today at Daniel's detached family home in Bramtham's Grimwade Close he was with his wife and family coming to terms with the verdict.

Putting on a united front, his wife declined to comment when given the opportunity to tell how her husband was coping.

Daniel, at home but again not showing his face, said from behind the door that he did not wish to speak about the case.

Daniel, who claimed in court he was looking to move away from the leafy Brantham community to Ipswich, will now also have to wait to hear if he can remain on the village's parish council.

The council did not suspend him after the allegations emerged but it was unavailable for comment today about his future.

In yesterday's day-long trial Daniel had claimed he had no intention of having sex with prostitute Donna Drewry but, giving evidence, Ms Drewry said he approached her “looking for business”.

Magistrates at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court took the word of the vice girl over that of the police officer and fined Daniel £235 and ordered him to pay £450 costs.

Tom Nicholson, mitigating in court, said it was likely Daniel's police career was in tatters.

A Metropolitan police spokesman said: “Now criminal proceedings are finished we will consider disciplinary action.

“He is currently on restricted duties, which will be reviewed in due course.”

Daniel, who works in Hackney, east London, told officers he and his wife had been considering moving to Ipswich and he was looking for houses on the night he was stopped in the unmarked police vehicle.

But Miss Drewry told the court the defendant had asked her how much she charged for sex. He then asked if she knew anywhere discreet they could go.

When the pair arrived at the Hadleigh Road industrial estate, Ms Drewry said Daniel passed her £20 and said “I will give you £20 and we will see what happens from there.”

Ms Drewry claimed Daniel said: “That's my career over and done with.”

Before the police arrived, she told the magistrates, Daniel had “started playing with my breasts” and had put a condom on.

Special Sergeant Jonathan Hardy followed the silver Skoda estate being driven by Daniel with Ms Drewry as a passenger as it left the red light district.

Sgt Hardy said Daniel said 'please don't arrest me. Please just give me a caution. I am a police officer and I've been in the force for 14 years and I will lose my job'.

Presiding magistrate Bunty Hunt said: “We believe it's unbelievable that such an experienced police officer would go to such a notorious prostitution area in the early hours of the morning and seek the assistance of a woman he knew to be a prostitute in finding a burger van.”

N Is Daniel's fine a fair punishment? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk