Julian Cole: Three police officers dismissed for lying about what happened to paralysed student

Three Bedfordshire Police officers have been found guilty of gross misconduct, and a fourth of misconduct, after a student was left paralysed following an incident outside a Bedford nightclub.

Julian Cole, who was an athlete studying at the University of Bedfordshire at the time, was involved in a scuffle with bouncers and police officers outside the former Elements nightclub in 2013.

He was left with life-changing injuries, including brain damage and a broken neck.

PCs Hannah Ross, Sanjeev Kalyan and Nicholas Oates were found guilty of gross misconduct for lying about what happened and have been dismissed from the force, while Sgt Andrew Withey was given a final written warning after being found guilty of misconduct at a hearing in Stevenage.

None of the police officers were accused of causing Mr Cole's injuries and The Crown Prosecution Service decided there was no criminal conduct following lengthy investigations.

The former Elements nightclub in Bedford. Credit: ITV News Anglia

However, PCs Ross, Kalyan and Oates were found to have made false statements about Mr Cole's arrest and were also found to have failed in their duty to conduct welfare checks on Mr Cole.

The panel also concluded that Sgt Andrew Withey failed to "react" when Mr Cole said that his neck hurt.

Mr Cole, who was 19 at the time, had gone to the nightclub with friends in May 2013, but was told to leave by staff.

He then kept trying to get back in and was refused a refund - at which point the police were called.

Mr Cole was placed into a van and taken to Greyfriars Police Station where an ambulance was called.

“Julian Cole was a young athletic man whose life was changed forever. It will never be known exactly how his neck was broken, or if swifter care could have prevented the awful consequences of the break," Independent Office for Police Conduct Regional Director Sarah Green said.

"The panel today have concluded however that the officers failed in their duty to provide adequate welfare checks, and worse, that three of them were dishonest in how they presented their version of events.

“This dishonesty has only added to the anguish of Mr Cole’s family."