Two police officers accused of allowing or witnessing a badly burned man to light up a crack pipe despite him being covered in petrol are facing a disciplinary hearing.

The Cleveland Police officers, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were called to an incident in Middlesbrough last September when they came across a man who was clearly in a distressed state.

An independent misconduct hearing was shown some body-worn camera footage where the man could be heard shouting in pain and the officers trying to calm him down.

The footage also recorded someone saying that he had accidentally set himself alight after spilling fuel from a Gerry can while smoking a cigarette.

However, it later became evident that another man had doused him in petrol and set him alight before fleeing Crathorne Crescent, Middlesbrough.

Officer A, who was first on the scene, told the disciplinary panel that she was not aware of the man smoking from his crack pipe but accepted she had thought he had been smoking a cigarette.

Giving evidence, she said that she had taken one lighter off him when they were inside the house as she was concerned about the strong smell of petrol.

A further two officers, including Officer B, arrived at the house to assist and one of them turned on their body-worn camera – which activated all three officers’ cameras – as the incident was considered a potential crime scene.

Officers A and B both turned their cameras off while they were still inside the property and the former said she felt it was no longer necessary as she didn’t believe it was a crime scene.

When asked why she hadn’t tried to take another lighter off him when he was in the kitchen trying to fire up his gas hob, the officer said: “I thought if I touched him, I thought I would hurt him and didn’t want to do that as he was clearly in a lot of pain.”

Her legal representative, James Bourne Arton, asked the officer why she didn’t have her camera switched on when the injured man is alleged to have smoked from his crack pipe, she replied: “I believed I was dealing with an injured man and not a crime. He told me he had done it himself by accident and I had no reason to doubt him at that point.”

Oliver Thorne, representing Cleveland Police, put it to her that she had deliberately turned off her camera to allow the man to smoke the crack cocaine.

She replied: “I didn’t believe that I was doing anything wrong and I certainly didn’t do anything to be dishonest.

“I wasn’t thinking straight, I had just battled with someone who was clearly injured and upset.”

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The officer maintained that at no point had she seen the man smoke crack cocaine nor did she had any idea that he may have smoked the illicit drug.

The two officers are facing several allegations, including letting the man smoke crack, resulting in them breaching the force’s standards during the incident on September 19 last year.

The hearing continues and Officer B is expected to give her evidence tomorrow (Tuesday 5).

If the allegations are proven then both officers could face being sacked from the force.