Page last updated at 15:01 GMT, Monday, 11 January 2010

Gun sale police admit misconduct

Maurice Allen and Damien Cobain
The investigation was supervised by the IPCC

Two Durham Pcs accused of selling guns which had been handed to police for safe disposal have pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office.

Maurice Allen and Damien Cobain were arrested when officers investigating a gun stolen from a farm were told it was bought from police.

Allen, 47, and Cobain, 41, admitted the charge at Newcastle Crown Court.

Allen faces further charges of theft in relation to firearms which remain outstanding, and did not enter pleas.

Judge David Hodson adjourned the case until 26 February.

The investigation began in February 2009 and was conducted by Durham Police's professional standards department under the supervision of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

'Disciplinary procedures'

At the time, the two officers were arrested, questioned and suspended from the force.

Allen, of Houghton le Spring, has nearly 29 years' police service, while Cobain, of Sunderland, has been with the force for eight years.

A spokesman for Durham Police said: "With the two officers having opted to plead guilty to the misconduct charges we can now focus attention on the issue of disciplinary procedures.

"We intend to have this resolved in the near future and in the meantime they remain suspended from duty as they have been from the start of this investigation."

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