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Sunday, 21 December 2014

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Senior police officer who lied to get promotion jailed

A high-ranking police officer from Carlisle who lied on his CV to land a string of top jobs during his 26-year career has been jailed.

Michael Martin photo
Michael Martin

Disgraced superintendent Mike Martin, 46, was today behind bars and his career was in ruins after a jury ruled that he fabricated qualifications and experience to boost his promotion chances.

The officer, whose achievements during his career included arresting the Chilean dictator General Pinochet, grew up in Cotehill near Carlisle.

During his trial at Preston Crown Court, Martin – an officer with Merseyside Police – told the court he was living in the village.

He had denied five counts of fraud and one of misconduct in a public office.

A jury convicted him by majority 10-2 verdicts of four of the fraud charges, and misconduct in a public office. They cleared him of one of the fraud offences.

Prosecutor Jeremy Grout-Smith told the court how Martin had been a “capable and highly ambitious” officer but his human resources bosses in Merseyside became suspicious after he tried for a transfer to the Metropolitan Police in London and declined to seek the support of senior officers as is usually the case. This triggered a four-year inquiry which uncovered a trail of deceit.

Investigators discovered that Martin had falsely claimed to have graduated with a BSc degree in risk and security management from the University of Portsmouth in 1996. He also lied about being involved in an investigation into the death of a young girl in the Devon and Cornwall area.

Passing sentence, Judge Anthony Russell QC told Martin: “You were able to take advantage of the process to make untrue and misleading representations about your career, thus gaining an advantage over candidates.

“In other words, you cheated and your promotion resulted in a significant salary increase.”

Jailing him for 18 months, the judge said that the case had been a tragedy because Martin was highly regarded as a police officer. He added:“You may well have achieved promotion later without telling lies.”

Martin claimed to have included some false information in error, and said his bogus degree claim was the result of having been duped over a distance learning degree by a fraudster.

Michael McGarian QC, for Martin, said his client had done some extraordinary work including royal protection, and investigating an IRA mortar attack at Heathrow.

Martin began his career with the Met in 1988, achieving sergeant in eight years. He joined Merseyside as a £60,000-a-year superintendent in 2009.

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