Officer dismissed over dead body photo

A probationary police officer was dismissed after using a camera in his mobile phone to take a photograph of bodies in a hospital mortuary.

A senior officer said the male probationer had paid the price for "crass stupidity".

An internal investigation was launched by Devon and Cornwall Police after the officer recently took the unauthorised photograph at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth.

The image was deleted from the camera, and the officer was interviewed and dismissed, said a police spokesman.

The incident was an isolated one, and the relatives of the deceased who were photographed had been informed and had received an apology.

The un-named officer took the photograph of two bodies while on an induction course with others, which involved spending the day at the hospital mortuary unit learning about the work of the coroner's officer.

It is understood the noise of his phone taking the picture led to the discovery of what he had done.

Chief Superintendent Morris Watts said: "It is a unique set of circumstances in my 27 years service.

"It was an act of crass stupidity on the individual's part, which has ended a potential 30-year career in a great organisation.

"He has paid the price for his crass stupidity," the officer told Westcountry TV News.

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