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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 September 2007, 20:18 GMT 21:18 UK
Detective guilty of kerb crawling
Det Sgt Mark Daniel
Mark Daniel was fined 235 and ordered to pay 450 costs
A Metropolitan Police officer has been convicted of kerb crawling in Ipswich six months after five prostitutes were killed in the town.

Det Sgt Mark Daniel was seen with a prostitute in an unmarked police car in the Suffolk town's red light district on 10 June.

Daniel, 34, of Brantham, near Ipswich, was standing trial at Ipswich Magistrates' Court.

The police officer was found guilty of one charge of soliciting a prostitute.

Ian Pells, prosecuting, said the case revolved around a "moment of silliness" as Daniel had enjoyed a "hitherto good reputation in his career".

'Hygiene freak'

Prostitute Donna Drewry told the court Daniel said to her: "I will give you 20 and we will see what happens from there."

But undercover police arrived before anything happened between the pair, she said.

When questioned, Daniel told officers he initially went into Ipswich to fill his car with diesel, before going to look for potential properties to buy in the red light district.

He claimed he was approached by Ms Drewry and decided to ask her to help him find a burger van as he was feeling hungry.

Daniel, who previously worked in the vice squad in Islington, north London, denied soliciting the prostitute and said it would be against his "moral beliefs" to do so.

He also described himself as a "hygiene freak" and said Ms Drewry had smelt "quite unclean".

'Manifestly implausible'

The married father of two young children refuted Ms Drewry's claims that he asked her for sex and added: "I certainly wouldn't risk my livelihood for something like this."

Ian Pells, prosecuting, described Daniel's explanation of his actions as "manifestly implausible".

He said increased police patrols had been set up in the red light area following the death of five prostitutes in December.

Tom Nicholson, defending, said it was likely Daniel would be dismissed from his job.

He said he also faced a legal bill of 3,500 as a result of contesting the case.

Daniel was fined 235 and ordered to pay 450 costs.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "Now that criminal proceedings have concluded, disciplinary aspects will be considered."

Daniel left court without commenting.


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The detective arriving at court



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