A Maldon police officer is facing the sack after being accused of lying about his sick son.

PC Anthony Crick, who lives in Colchester, admitted breaching the standards of professional behaviour of integrity, but denied dishonesty, at a police misconduct hearing.

The hearing was told he had told his boss he would not be able to make it into work after his seven-month-old son was taken to Colchester General Hospital with breathing difficulties.

PC Crick was due to begin work in Maldon at 6am the next day but told his sergeant the had been at the hospital until 2am before being sent home.

However, Sgt Jo Bridge was suspicious of PC Crick, who had a history of being absent from work, and phoned the hospital to check his story.

The hospital report showed PC Crick’s son had been discharged at 6.30pm on April 25 and the family had left the hospital at 7.15pm, two and a half hours before PC Crick sent a text to Sgt Bridge telling her he was still in the hospital and expected to be there until the early hours of the morning.

She said: “He seemed quite upset on the phone. He said he had had a long night and was extremely worried.

“There was almost too much information. I felt like he was not telling the truth.

“A couple of shift members had said to me in the month before they were concerned about him telling the truth.

“I contacted the hospital to clarify his account. You always want to see the best in your officers.

“I didn’t believe him but did not want to go to professional standards straight away, hoping that I was wrong.”

PC Crick denied intentionally misleading his superiors and being dishonest.

He said had started writing the initial text message while he was still at the hospital but he had been interrupted by a phone call and had not finished it.

After leaving the hospital he had gone to collect his daughters and on the way back to Colchester had got a call from his partner saying she was taking the son back to hospital.

He said he asked his his daughter to complete the text, which mentioned he was in hospital, and which was why it was sent hours after he left.

The hearing continues.