FALLEN police officer Philip Tate has kept his freedom despite allowing a transvestite Thai prostitute to run a brothel from his apartment.
For 15 years he had an exemplary record as a PC with Northumbria Police, serving on the Metro system, at Newcastle Airport and various beats.
But when the steroid-pumping officer was put under surveillance amid suspicions within his own force, his world began to implode.
Secret recordings of Tate from a bug placed in his car show he knew Wirat Tanghai was selling sex from his city centre apartment - but failed to report it to his own force.
Tate is even heard mimicking Tanghai's Thai accent to a friend and making sexual references.
Now the shamed officer, who also got a Norwegian bodybuilder to buy him steroids and needles, has been given a suspended prison sentence after he admitted misconduct in public office.
Imposing the sentence at Newcastle Crown Court, Judge Penny Moreland said: "Society expects high standards of police officers and you have fallen short of those standards. That harms you and also harms the reputation of the police force as a whole.
"Because we expect high standards of police officers, we as a society accord them respect and you have thrown away that right to respect and have lost your good name and your career.
"By reference to appraisal records you had what could have been an exemplary career and it's hard to square the officer in those references to the officer who has pleaded guilty to two counts of misconduct."
The court heard Tate, who joined the force in 1997, had been renting out two apartments in Newcastle, one on Lime Square and the other at Merchant's Quay.
By June last year transvestite prostitute Tanghai had taken over the tenancy at Lime Square and a Thai prostitute also moved in and the pair were selling sex.
Concerns had been raised within Northumbria Police about Tate's 'inappropriate associations' and he was put under surveillance in autumn last year.
Last November he was seen going to Lime Square, picking up the two prostitutes and taking them to Merchant's Quay.
Tim Gittins, prosecuting, said matters came to a head on January 3 after Tate and Norwegian bodybuilder Oyvend Eggum had been to the Men At Work gym in Fenham and were recorded on the bug in the car.
Mr Gittins said: "It was obvious from their recorded conversation Tate knew exactly what was going on. He mimicked the Thai accent and made sexual references.
"He said 'We will wait 10 minutes to let him do what he is doing'."
Tate then visited the property and when he came back to the car said: "There are red lights on the side."
He tells Eggum there is a good looking Thai girl inside, then mimics the Thai accent, saying "My friend she stays". He adds: "I'm like, whatever."
The next day Tate collected Eggum and took him to a needle exchange in Gateshead and asked him to "get some pins" and the pair discuss steroids. Eggum provided Tate with 1,000 steroids for Â£120.
On the same day police had been called to Lime Square by a concierge who had been alerted to the high number of visitors going to the flat.
When officers attended they found the Thai prostitute, who was eventually deported.
After the raid Tate moved Tanghai from Lime Square into Merchants' Quay.
Undercover officers responded to sleazy adverts and were offered sex when they turned up at the new address.
When Tate was arrested he claimed he thought Tanghai worked in the restaurant trade but later admitted turning a blind eye to his work as a prostitute.
Tate pleaded guilty to two counts of misconduct in public office between June last year and March this year.
Tate, 38, of Fenham, Newcastle, was originally also charged with keeping a brothel, being concerned in the supply of steroids and money laundering, but those charges were dropped after he pleaded guilty to the misconduct charges.
He was given a four month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, with 200 hours unpaid work and must pay Â£1,000 costs. The court heard the former West Denton High pupil had once ran a music shop.
During his time with Northumbria Police he worked in Newcastle, Morpeth, Hexham and on the Metro and at the airport.
His barrister said his appraisals were "peppered with compliments" and said he had not used his position to commit the offences.
Tanghai admitted keeping a brothel at Tate's flat at Lime Square. Tanghai, who has indefinite leave to stay in the UK because he is in a civil partnership with a man in London, was arrested at another address in March when the wider probe into Tate concluded.
The 29-year-old, of Gypsy Road, Crystal Palace, London, pleaded guilty to keeping a brothel and was fined Â£500.
Eggum, 31, of Wills Building, Heaton, Newcastle, pleaded guilty to supplying a controlled drug and was fined Â£100.