ESSEX Police have defended their decision to appoint an officer who, according to his barrister, has special needs.

Police Community Support Officer Daniel Le Moine, 22, has been suspended from his post after he was convicted of deliberately deceiving colleagues.

During the trial, the court heard Le Moine had an IQ of just 84, relied heavily on his mother to help him out with letters, struggled to read and had memory problems.

Now, Essex Police have defended the decision to appoint him and the requirements for service as a PCSO.

Roger Grimwade, a police spokesman, said there were no formal educational requirements, but applicants must satisfy an entry procedure.

He said: “There is a recruitment and selection process, which all our staff go through, and he was obviously successful in that process.

“They are also on a period of probation.

“We also have facilities to assist any of our staff who might have any disabilities or requirements.

“There is no control over what defence barristers say, and what is put forward in mitigation does not necessarily stand up to the test.

“We would not review our procedures or requirements in the light of this case.”

On Tuesday, a jury unanimously found Le Moine guilty of using an insurance certificate with intent to deceive.

The 22-year-old of Buckfast Avenue, Kirby Cross, was involved in a car crash in February 2008 when he was driving without insurance.

He told police he was insured and took an insurance certificate to a police station which he knew was invalid, the court found.

He denied the charge on the grounds his dyslexia affected his ability to take things in and remember them, which was why he had failed to register he was not insured, despite speaking to insurer Direct Line a week earlier.