Two policemen given final warnings after stopping for tea en route to suicidal woman later found dead

File photo.

Two policemen have been given final written warnings after stopping to buy a cup of tea before responding to calls to check on a suicidal woman who was later found dead, a misconduct panel in England has heard.

Metropolitan Police officers Gavin Bateman and Tony Stephenson drove to a fast food restaurant for refreshments and to complete "administrative tasks" rather than heading straight to the home of a woman in Poplar, east London, who had been deemed vulnerable by members of the London Ambulance Service.

Despite accepting the call - graded "significant" by the Met - shortly after midnight on April 16, officers Bateman and Stephenson waited 24 minutes before proceeding to the property, where a 22-year-old woman was found dead.

An inquest into the death in November 2015 ruled that the woman had taken her own life before the original 999 call was made.

A gross misconduct hearing into whether the constables, based at Tower Hamlets, had breached standards of professional behaviour in respect of their "duties and responsibilities" ruled that the officers were guilty of misconduct.

Bateman and Stephenson, who were in attendance at the hearing, previously admitted their actions amounted to misconduct.

They were given final written warnings by the panel.

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