Line of Duty series four: Who was Matthew "Dot" Cottan and why is his dying declaration so important?
Fans of the thriller will know that “The Caddy” is six feet under, but he’s back to haunt AC-12…
Ted Hastings suffered yet another blow on Line of Duty, when Derek Hilton confronted him with video footage of DI Dot Cottan’s dying declaration – but who was Dot? And what is so significant about his final words?
Dot – played by Craig Parkinson – was the corrupt copper who made life hell for AC-12 throughout the first three series. He was codenamed “The Caddy” because he used to carry golf bags for Tommy Hunter, a local gangster, when he was a kid. Hunter was just one of the criminals that Dot was protecting, in a bid to cover up a large network of paedophiles.
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When Hunter was killed in series two, due to a hit masterminded by Dot to protect his gang paymasters and his own true identity, Detective Lindsay Denton (Keeley Hawes) got the blame.
Then Dot, who had been so 'helpful' with AC-12's inquiry into Denton, became a permanent member of the anti-corruption team, tasked with discovering the identity of 'The Caddy' – even though he himself was the culprit.
Dot’s plumb posting at the heart of AC-12 meant that in series three he was at liberty to cover up numerous crimes. Not only did he destroy a list of paedophiles written up by Danny Waldron, who had been abused as a child, but he also killed Denton when she found a back up version of the list – and tried to frame Steve Arnott as the corrupt insider.
In a feature-length finale, Dot was finally unmasked as 'The Caddy' in a riveting interview scene.
Dot’s escape was a bloody affair, and ended with him riddled with bullets, recording his dying declaration (below) for Kate Fleming before passing away – evidence that would help bring the abusers to justice.
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And it’s none other than this dying declaration that has resurfaced and gained huge significance in series four.
In a move which led to the dismissal of Jamie Desford, Maneet Bindra used the newbie's login to download footage of the declaration and sneak it to Hilton.
It's not yet clear why Hilton was so hell bent on seeing the footage – either he was hoping to undermine AC-12 and protect Roz Huntley, or he was suspicious of Hastings for not releasing footage relating to the one case his team had never solved.
In the video, when Dot was asked which of his senior officers he was protecting, he was in such a bad way that all he could do was blink twice to indicate their name began with the letter H. Because of this, Hilton confronted Hastings – saying he was suspicious it was him who Dot was covering for all along.
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Hastings was appalled, and pointed out that there are eight different officers serving above the rank of inspector whose surnames begin with H – including Hilton, of course.
With only one episode left, will we find out who H really is? Ever since Leonie Collersdale's series four murder was linked to Jackie Laverty's in series one, it looks like discovering their identity could be just the ticket to solving the mystery of balaclava man...
This article was originally published in April 2017