A POLICE officer has been sacked after being caught pretending his son needed emergency treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital to skive off work.

PC Anthony Crick, who lives in Colchester, was fired after admitting breaching standards of behaviour during a misconduct hearing and being found to have been dishonest.

The officer, based in Maldon, told his superiors by text he would not be able to make it into work on April 26 last year after his seven-month-old son was taken to Colchester General Hospital with breathing difficulties the previous evening.

PC Crick was due to begin work at 6am that day, but told his sergeant he had been at the hospital until 2am.

He also said they had an appointment for an ear, nose and throat specialist later on April 26, and said the child may be referred to Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital such was the severity of the danger.

Chief Superintendent Carl O’Malley, who was sitting on the hearing panel, said: “There is no doubt that the circumstances that PC Crick faced between April 25 and 27 were difficult and traumatic.

“However police officers are required to tell the truth and it is essential that they do so.

“PC Crick had been provided with considerable support by the force in managing his attendance issues over the past few years and this support will always be available for staff and officers.

"However to tell lies to supervisors and colleagues is inexcusable and the force will not tolerate dishonesty.”

Sgt Jo Bridge was suspicious of PC Crick’s reasons following what was described as high levels of absence in the past.

He missed 61 days of work in 2013, 76 days of work in 2014, and those problems continued in the next two years.

She phoned the hospital to check PC Crick's claims and was told the family had left closer to 7pm, hours before any message was sent.

There was no follow up appointment the next day and no mention of treatment at the specialist children's hospital.

PC Crick denied sending the text messages himself, claiming they were sent by his partner and daughter.

But the panel found it was PC Crick who had sent the texts and therefore he was dishonest.