Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Tonypandy detective Mark Hopkins sacked after being jailed for bribery

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A police officer who was jailed for taking a bribe to get an assault case dropped has been sacked.

Det Con Mark Hopkins, of Ton Pentre, Rhondda, encouraged a baseball bat attack victim to withdraw a statement.

The 49-year-old was jailed for four years in July after a trial at Cardiff Crown Court, where he was found guilty of perverting the course of justice.

South Wales Police has now ruled his crimes amounted to gross misconduct, bringing the force into disrepute.

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Deputy Chief Constable Richard Lewis said: “DC Hopkins has seriously destroyed the trust South Wales Police and the public had in him as an officer.

“He has committed a serious criminal offence which strikes at the heart of the business of policing and at the heart of what policing is about.”

He added Hopkins’ would have understood the impact his actions would have on the victim and the public’s confidence, which was “grossly undermined” in this case.

Related: British police freeze $121 million in accounts on bribery fears

The officer had been responsible for investigating the attack on Richard Diaper, 17, in Tonypandy in 2008, which is thought to have been a case of mistaken identity.

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The court had heard Mr Diaper was getting cash at a garage when he was hit on the head and repeatedly struck while lying on the ground.

The court heard the victim started receiving “threatening” calls telling him to withdraw his statement and was offered £3,000 by someone claiming he was from the Manchester drugs underworld.

‘Bundle of notes’

He told police he had felt intimidated, but Hopkins failed to record details and tried to minimise the significance of the allegations.

He also visited Mr Diaper’s house while off-duty and encouraged him to withdraw his witness statement before countersigning a form bringing the investigation to an end.

Hopkins was suspended in 2014 after his ex-wife told police he came home with up to £1,000 in “a bundle of notes”.

The disgraced officer then tried to argue his wife reported him “out of pure malice” because their 13-year relationship had ended in acrimony.

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