A misconduct panel will decide whether a copper accused of failing to tell a family of their son’s death – then lying by saying he visited their home but got no answer is guilty of gross misconduct.

It is claimed PC Philip Aiston lied and said he visited the home of the McGann family but got no answer when he was actually five miles away.

But Aiston strongly denies the claims saying mapping data is wrong and he did attempt to deliver the McGanns the tragic news of their son Martin’s death.

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The hearing wrapped up on Wednesday (September 13) with PC Aiston being cross-examined before the panel retired to decide whether the allegations against him are proven.

Mr Simon Mallett, counsel for Northumbria Police, questioned Aiston on his actions on the night in question July 19, 2021.

He said: “The simple fact is you did not actually go to the property." PC Aiston replied, "Yes, I did".

Mr Mallet probed: “You know that the telematics location shows that you went to [North Shields], in the vicinity of McDonalds and to [another incident]. You accept that you said that?"

Aiston replied: “But not at these specific times that the telematics is showing.”

He also says it missed a trip to the McGanns at 1.30am on July 20, and made up a trip past their house a week later on July 27, when he says he only turned around in the junction of their street.

Mr Mallett claimed it was “bizarre” to suggest the telematics would suddenly stop working and “implausible” that Aiston had said he hadn’t seen a doorbell at the McGanns which he failed to ring.

In his closing statement he said: “It’s just implausible what he’s saying about the telematics.

“Has the system for some unknown reason created a phantom journey on the 19th of July?

“For some unexplained reason he has suggested that the system doesn’t record it properly. There’s no explanation as to how or why it came to that, just the office says it does.”

But concluding his argument Mr Ponte, representing ex-joiner PC Aiston, described a cop GPS system as a “standing joke” saying officers know it doesn’t work.

He said: “PC Aiston knows it’s a standing job to some of them. The system is far from reliable.

“I don’t know how the numbers are wrong, but it must be wrong.

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“You will imagine what it is like for PC Aiston who wants to shout to you ‘but I was there’ [on July 20].”

PC Philip Aiston is accused of gross misconduct, failing to notify the McGanns of their son’s death and falsely claiming he tried to tell them when he had not. He is also accused of visiting their address with no legitimate reason on July 27.

The misconduct hearing at Houghton-le-Spring police station will conclude on Friday when the panel returns a decision on the allegations.