A police officer has described how she ‘froze’ when she encountered chaotic and shocking scenes after she was called to reports of a fight.

The Cleveland Police officer said nothing could prepare her for horror scene she faced when she went inside the Middlesbrough property.

Instead of dealing with a fight she was confronted with a badly-burned man who claimed he had accidentally set himself alight.

An independent disciplinary 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.

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

Two officers, who cannot be named for legal reasons, are accused of turning off their body-worn camera to enable the man to smoke a crack pipe.

The panel was told that the pair are also accused of failing to prevent the man from trying to light a cooker in his kitchen despite there being a strong smell of petrol throughout the house and failing to pass on relevant information to paramedics.

Joan Smith, representing Officer B, took her through her evidence where she accepted that she ‘froze’ when confronted with the man tried to light the cooker inside his home on Crathorne Crescent.

The officer said: “Every time the cooker clicked, I thought ‘this is it, I’m not going home tonight’. I was looking at his injuries and I’m thinking ‘am I going to look like that?’.

“I was just thinking that I need to text my mother and tell her ‘I love her’ – then I heard something come over the radio and I snapped out of it.”

Ms Smith asked the female officer about how she reacted to the situation when she was faced with this unusual and quick moving incident with the cooker.

The officer replied: “Looking back, I think I could have done something differently.”

She denied that she ever saw the man smoking crack cocaine and refuted the claim that she had deliberately turned off her body-worn camera to allow him to do so.

Under cross examination from Oliver Thorne, representing Cleveland Police, the officer admitted that she was scared of the situation in the kitchen when the man was clicking the cooker ignition, adding: “I accept that there were numerous things I could have done and I wish I had.”

See more court stories from The Northern Echo by clicking here

Get all the latest crime and court updates, for less than the price of a coffee, with a Premium Plus digital subscription to The Northern Echo. Click here

The officer also refuted claims that she ‘shared a look’ with her co-accused before they simultaneously switched off their cameras.

The two accused, known only as officer A and B, are facing a number of allegations that they breached the force’s standards during the incident on September 19 last year.

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

The disciplinary hearing continues.