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Anti-gay PC sacked for intolerance

PUBLISHED: 10:36 26 November 2008 | UPDATED: 12:22 03 July 2010

A CONSTABLE who accused Norfolk police of promoting gay rights over religious beliefs was last night sacked from the force for misconduct.

PC Graham Cogman, from Sea Palling, had previously been disciplined after sending e-mails to colleagues quoting biblical texts and sending remarks which were considered offensive to homosexuals.

A CONSTABLE who accused Norfolk police of promoting gay rights over religious beliefs was last night sacked from the force for misconduct.

PC Graham Cogman, from Sea Palling, had previously been disciplined after sending e-mails to colleagues quoting biblical texts and sending remarks which were considered offensive to homosexuals.

In one message, the 49-year-old suggested homosexual sex was sinful and another, addressed to a gay liaison officer, included the phrase “Love the sinner, hate the deed”. He later circulated the details of an American organisation which offered to “cure” homosexuality.

Norfolk police confirmed that, following a misconduct hearing yesterday, Mr Cogman was found guilty of two charges: one of failing to comply with a lawful order over the use of police computers and another of failing to treat a colleague with politeness and tolerance.

He was dismissed for the first charge and will be required to resign for the second, although he still has the right to appeal against both.

This followed an investigation led by Norfolk police's professional standards department and supervised by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Deputy chief constable Ian Learmonth said: “This officer's behaviour fell well below what we expect of our people. The outcome follows a thorough investigation with evidence presented to a misconduct panel of three, two of whom were independent of the constabulary.

“We require an absolute commitment from all our staff to treat colleagues with politeness, tolerance and respect, regardless of their beliefs, race, age, gender or sexual orientation. Our diversity policy sets out a clear and unequivocal position.

“It is a high standard and exactly what the public deserves and expects from their police service. We will not tolerate discriminatory behaviour of any kind and actively encourage our staff and the public to report breaches without fear, in the knowledge they will be acted upon appropriately.”

The father-of-two, who attends the Anglican church at Sea Palling, had earlier threatened to take the force to an employment tribunal after he was disciplined. However, it is understood that the case is yet to be lodged.

He claimed the force had become obsessed with inclusiveness to the detriment of Christian beliefs, describing the force's support of homosexual rights as “blatantly biased”.

PC Cogman was working in Yarmouth two years ago when gay liaison officers circulated an e-mail encouraging staff to wear a pink ribbon on uniforms in Gay History Month. He claims he was bombarded with gay posters and information about gay events.

On that occasion, he responded by

e-mail and was banned from using internal messaging systems after being found to have failed to show “respect and tolerance”.

The following year he objected to a similar e-mail asking officers to wear a rainbow ribbon. He claimed this was inappropriate as the rainbow symbolised God's faithfulness. He was later accused of victimising another gay liaison officer. This time he received the maximum fine of £1,200 for breach of the police code of conduct.


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