Kerb crawling cop unmasked

VIDEO Here is the first image of camera-shy kerb-crawling cop Mark Daniel.The shamed Metropolitan police detective has, until now, shunned the spotlight, hiding from the embarrassment of his actions by arriving at court wearing a crash helmet and sunglasses.

HERE is the first image of camera-shy kerb-crawling cop Mark Daniel.

The shamed Metropolitan police detective has, until now, shunned the spotlight, hiding from the embarrassment of his actions by arriving at court wearing a crash helmet and sunglasses.

But today, the identity of the married father-of-two can finally be revealed.

The footage was captured as Daniel, of Grimwade Close, Brantham, attended a parish council meeting.

Despite his conviction for picking up a prostitute in Ipswich's red light district just months after the murder of five sex workers the former vice squad officer, remains a parish councillor.

Council chairman Paul Revell today said there were “no grounds” to legally dismiss Daniel, who was elected a year ago, from his position.

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The 35-year-old was found guilty at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court last June after police found him in a work-issued car with the prostitute in a secluded spot on the Hadleigh Road industrial estate.

He had denied an offence of soliciting but after being found guilty at a day-long trial he was handed a £235 fine.

He then failed to persuade a court that his conviction had been based on insufficient evidence.

During the appeal at Ipswich Crown Court, Daniel claimed he had been house-hunting in Ipswich shortly after midnight when he picked up the vice girl so she could tell him where to get a burger.

He said he was driving home to Brantham after working an evening shift in London when he decided to continue along the A12 to Ipswich to get petrol and food and look at properties as potential investments.

But Judge Neil McKittrick, sitting with two magistrates, discounted Daniel's version of events, saying he believed the prostitute, who said he offered her £20 to perform sexual acts and said: “Let's see how it goes from there.”

There was anger in February when a police tribunal opted against sacking Daniel, instead demoting him from detective sergeant to detective constable.

Former Ipswich sex worker Charlotte, who now sits on the steering group charged with solving Ipswich's street prostitution problem, said: “A former vice squad officer knows it's against the rules. All people will see from that is a police officer can get caught for kerb-crawling and still keep his job.”

Police launched a zero-tolerance crackdown on the men who create a demand for prostitution following the murders of Tania Nicol, Gemma Adams, Anneli Alderton, Annette Nicholls and Paula Clennell, all killed by Steve Wright, 49, of London Road, Ipswich.

Daniel has refused to comment on his conviction.

Should the punishment for paying for sex be harsher? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk