Cleveland policeman Mark Thornton's mobile phone fine

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Media captionCleveland Police roads officer caught using phone at wheel

A senior road policing officer has been fined £200 and given penalty points after being filmed using his mobile phone while driving earlier this month.

A video given to the BBC and Northern Echo showed Supt Mark Thornton on his phone as he drove away from Cleveland Police HQ in Middlesbrough on 13 July.

The officer has apologised and admitted he had "let a lot of people down".

Police and crime commissioner Barry Coppinger said the law must apply to police officers as it does to everyone.

Supt Thornton, whose unit has appeared on the television series Police Interceptors, said he accepted the consequences of his actions and would pay a £200 and accept six penalty points on his licence.

He added: "As a serving police officer I'm more aware than most of the potentially devastating consequences of driving whilst distracted.

"This is no small thing and the consequences for pedestrians and other roads users can be fatal.

"I'm very sorry... I have let a lot of people down, not least myself. I will fully accept the consequences of my actions."

Assistant Ch Con Jason Harwin said: "The matter is still currently being considered by the force."

Cleveland's police and crime commissioner, Barry Coppinger, added: "The law applies as much to police officers as it does to anyone else.

"It's right that this officer has apologised for his actions and that Cleveland Police is investigating."

Penalties for using a phone at the wheel doubled on 1 March to six points and a £200 fine.

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