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Last Updated: Friday, 5 March, 2004, 19:03 GMT
Mortuary photo policeman sacked
Derriford Hospital
Police say the image taken with the mobile phone has been deleted
A Devon and Cornwall Police officer has been dismissed after he took a photograph of two dead bodies in a hospital mortuary.

The incident happened at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth.

The officer, who was still in his probationary period, took the photo with a mobile phone.

A statement by the police said the force was confident it was an isolated incident and apologised for any distress caused.

Informing relatives

The statement said: "An internal investigation concluded that a probationary constable recently took an unauthorised photograph in Derriford Hospital.

"Supervisory officers quickly dealt with the incident and confirmed that the digital image had been deleted.

"The officer was interviewed and has been dismissed."

The statement added the police were in the process of informing the relatives of those involved.

A Derriford Hospital spokesman confirmed the incident occurred when police used the mortuary.

"Relatives of patients who have passed away can be reassured that access to the mortuary is strictly limited.

"Respect and dignity is afforded to the deceased and their families and friends at all times."

The officer took the photograph 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.

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