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misconduct Disgraced PSNI officer Mark Goddard kicked from force after affair with vulnerable woman

The news comes after this newspaper revealed that 39 PSNI officers have been subject to an internal investigation over allegations of sexual misconduct in the last five years

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Dismissed: Disgraced policeman Mark Goddard

Dismissed: Disgraced policeman Mark Goddard

Dismissed: Disgraced policeman Mark Goddard

A policeman has officially been kicked out of the PSNI while serving his sentence.

Lisburn man Mark Goddard (36) was sentenced to two years in prison in August for misconduct in public office after conducting an almost year-long affair with a vulnerable young woman he arrested for burglary in 2017.

Following the conclusion of the criminal proceedings against him, the PSNI started its own internal procedures into the married father-of-two. Goddard’s dismissal from the PSNI was finally confirmed yesterday.

A spokesperson said: “Mr Goddard was dismissed without notice on 7th September 2021 at a special hearing case.”

The news comes after this newspaper revealed that 39 PSNI officers have been subject to an internal investigation over allegations of sexual misconduct in the last five years. Five of the complaints were upheld, with three officers dismissed and two jailed.

Yesterday, a senior officer said the PSNI is currently investigating six cases of a sexual nature and seven domestic violence cases involving serving police officers.

Deputy Chief Constable Mark Hamilton told Radio Ulster’s Talkback that since the Freedom of Information request revealed the figures, a third officer has been dismissed from his role, convicted in court and sentenced to prison for misconduct in public office, where he “abused his position for sexual gain”.

"We have an officer in prison for two years who was sentenced this summer we have also an officer who was sentenced to prison for possession of indecent images,” he told the programme.

Among the 39 officers investigated, the type of sexual misconduct reported included voyeurism, possession of child pornography, rape and purchasing sexual services.

When asked if the 39 allegations over five years seemed “high” considering the size of the PSNI as a police force, Mr Hamilton said it is “broadly similar” to other forces.

He added: "We have six cases of a sexual nature and about seven domestic violence cases ongoing at the moment as well. Some of the cases overlap between domestic abuse and sexual offences as well.

“I don’t think it is disproportionately high, but I don’t accept that any of it should be happening at all.”

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Mark Goddard

Mark Goddard

Mark Goddard

 

People Before Profit MLA Gerry Carroll described the figures as "deeply disturbing". He asked Justice Minister Naomi Long for her reaction yesterday at Stormont. Mrs Long said it was important that serious offenders were removed from their post.

At Stormont, People Before Profit MLA Gerry Carroll asked the minister: "I would like to ask for your assessment on the deeply disturbing news that at least 39 police officers have been subject to internal investigation over allegations of sexual misconduct in the last five years?"

Mrs Long referred to heightened public concern following the conviction of Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens for the murder of Sarah Everard. She said: "I think like everyone in the chamber, we have all been touched by what happened in the case of Sarah Everard.

"It has brought home a reality for many women in our society that even those who appear to be figures of trust are often predators, and that fear that lies with every woman who is alone, who is trying to go about their daily business, that they may be preyed upon by someone. I think it is all the more acute at this time.”

The minister added she is “aware that there are a number of people who have been dismissed from their post and I believe that in cases of serious offending, that is important, because we need to know that when we turn to a police officer in a moment of distress that we are safe and that we are confident we will remain safe in doing so”.

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