Corrupt cop jailed

James_bowes

A former police sergeant has been jailed for 10 months for trying to sell a story about celebrity Katie Price’s daughter to the News of the World.

James Bowes contacted the now defunct Sunday tabloid newspaper and told a journalist that police child protection officers had gone to the home of Price’s former husband Peter Andre in Brighton.

This followed a report that the couple’s daughter, Princess Tiaamii, then aged two, had been injured in 2010, the Old Bailey heard.

The team found no untoward injuries to the child and the matter was not taken further, the court was told.

But Bowes, who worked for in Brighton for Sussex Police, emailed the newspaper asking for money for the information.

The story was printed with information from another source and Bowes was never paid.

Bowes, 30, from Steyning, West Sussex, pleaded guilty last month to misconduct in public office.

The court heard that he passed information to the Sun newspaper about a child who was bitten by a fox and was paid £500.

And he passed on details of a psychic who had contacted police about a search for bodies in two former Brighton homes in 2010 of serial killer Peter Tobin, but was not paid.

Bowes was charged by officers from Operation Elveden, the Metropolitan Police investigation into police corruption.

Mr Justice Fulford told Bowes: “You have made available to the press confidential information concerning children.

“Your explanation is that it was a foolish attempt by you to be in some part associated with notorious or high-profile cases.”

Bowes had abused his position of trust and undermined the relationship the police had with the public.

Stephen Wedd, defending, said Bowes had now given £500 to the Crimestoppers charity, and had been dismissed by Sussex Police.

Mark Bryant-Heron, prosecuting, told the court that Bowes had access to the police computer to get information about the three reports in 2010.

Andre and Price had separated and there was a report of injuries to the couple’s daughter.

“The child protection team established no untoward injuries,” said Mr Bryant-Heron.

The following day Bowes emailed the News of the World news desk but was told that the newspaper already had the information.

“Clearly, the News of the World had access to other sources for information,” he added.

Bowes had emailed the Sun after a fox attacked a child at a birthday party and was paid after providing the contact details of the parents.

The father told the court he had to move his family away from their home until the fuss died down after the story was printed.

He also contacted the newspaper about the psychic who was later contacted by a journalist.

No story was published and Bowes was not paid, but the psychic said she had lost confidence in the police.

Mr Bryant-Heron told the court the child protection team “established very quickly that there were no bruises or injuries” to Tiaamii.

He said: “Peter Andre has made a statement saying he was hurt and embarrassed by the story.”

THIEVING COP DISMISSED

A policeman jailed for theft has been formally dismissed from the force.

Pc Ian Scouler, 46, – above- was found guilty of theft at London’s Southwark Crown Court on November 7 and sentenced to 12 months imprisonment.

He was formally dismissed yesterday, the Metropolitan Police Service said in a statement.

Separately, Pc Kenneth Potter, 30, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to one count of theft and one count of handling stolen goods.

He received a five-month sentence for both counts, to run concurrently.

Potter put in a formal request to resign in June, which was accepted.

The pair were based in the disruption unit at Plumstead police station, in south London.

In 2010 and 2011, police received several complaints from the public regarding theft of money and property in cases handled by the unit, where addresses were searched or members of the public were stopped and searched on the street.

The Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) anti-corruption team launched an investigation, which was managed by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

Officers from the DPS carried out a covert operation and gathered evidence against the two officers.

They were both arrested on October 12 last year and suspended from duty.

They were subsequently charged on January 26 this year.

Commander Allan Gibson, of the DPS, said: “Where we have intelligence that officers may be breaking the law, we will be proactive and run covert operations to identify corruption.

“Both these men are now out of the police service and sitting in prison, having been found guilty of theft. The prosecution case was based on evidence gathered by the Directorate of Professional Standards.

“There is no place for criminals in the Met and the Directorate of Professional Standards will put anyone who thinks they are above the law before the courts.”

TOO MANY COPS TAKE SEXUAL ADVANTAGE SAYS POLICE WATCHDOG

RAPE COP: Stephen Mitchell jailed for life after being convicted in November 2011 of two rapes, three indecent assaults and six counts of misconduct in a public office.

Too many police officers and staff have taken sexual advantage of members of the public they were supposed to be helping, a watchdog said today.

More than 50 cases over the last two years showed corrupt behaviour by officers which was considered to be sexual exploitation or assault, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said.

It called for more vetting of officers in specific situations, such as those dealing with vulnerable people, and for a code of conduct to set out the behaviour expected of officers.

The report, Abuse of Police Powers to Perpetrate Sexual Violence, found 54 cases of officers or staff trying to form sexual relationships with people they ought to have been helping between April 2009 and March last year in England and Wales.

It went on: “There is no evidence to suggest it is commonplace, but nor can we be confident that all such cases are reported.

“There are considerable inconsistencies in the referral of corruption cases in general to the IPCC by different police forces. It is therefore possible that the true figure is higher.”

Allegations about colleagues were excluded from the figure, as were complaints after a police search in custody.

“Nevertheless it is highly likely that there are connections and overlap between these kinds of abuse and further work will be required to explore this,” the IPCC added.

The report comes after a rogue officer was jailed for life for raping and sexually assaulting vulnerable women.

Stephen Mitchell was ordered to serve two life sentences and warned he might never be freed from prison by a judge at Newcastle Crown Court in January last year.

Trial judge Mr Justice Wilkie said the Northumbria Police constable was a “ruthless sexual predator” who was a danger to women.

Mitchell, formerly of Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, preyed on women he met while on duty from his base at Pilgrim Street police station in Newcastle.

The pervert, originally from Glasgow, raped and sexually abused heroin addicts, shoplifters and a disabled teenager by offering them help while in custody, then demanding sexual favours afterwards.

He told one of his victims that if she complained, “no one would believe a junkie”.

The cases studied by the watchdog also included one of a police officer who was accused of rape by a woman with mental health problems who had called for help because she felt suicidal.

The officer initially provided “no comment” answers to questions, but after DNA evidence was recovered he admitted there had been a sexual act, but said it was consensual. He later quit the force.

Another officer was sacked after using the police national computer to carry out 176 unauthorised checks on women over three years, the report showed.

Dame Anne Owers, IPCC chairwoman, said: “The abuse of police powers for purposes of sexual exploitation, or even violence, is something that fundamentally betrays the trust that communities and individuals place in the police.

“It therefore has a serious impact on the public’s confidence in individual officers and the service in general.”

The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) added the police service needed to deal with corruption swiftly to keep the public’s trust.

Chief Constable Mike Cunningham, the Acpo lead on professional standards, said: “For this very reason Acpo, working jointly with the IPCC, sought to learn lessons once this particular type of corruption was identified.

“One thing remains clear – all our relationships must meet the highest standards of integrity.

“This duty falls not only to officers and staff themselves in adhering to behaviour afforded to working in a position of trust, but to colleagues and supervisors in raising and addressing any concerning behaviour.

“Any officer, regardless of rank, that brings the service into disrepute does huge damage to the 140,000 officers that go out every day to deliver a police service with commitment and integrity.”

Javed Khan, chief executive of Victim Support, said: “This is absolutely appalling.

“Victims of crime turn to the police for protection and help when they are already in a vulnerable position.

“The police’s treatment of victims is crucial in helping them recover from the crime and help bring offenders to justice.

“It is unacceptable that some police officers would take advantage of their position to re-victimise a person.

“We commend the IPCC for having the honesty and vision to address these cases and make recommendations which we hope will translate into a strong commitment to eliminate predatory behaviour in every police force.”

CORRUPT TOP COP DIZAEI LOSES DELAY APPEAL.

Discredited Top Cop Ali Dizaei

Controversial Scotland Yard police chief Ali Dizaei has lost his High Court bid to have a misconduct hearing postponed.

The 49-year-old commander, who has twice been jailed for corruption, is due to face an internal disciplinary tribunal in London on Thursday.

In February 2010 he was jailed for four years but the conviction was quashed a year later by the Court of Appeal.

At a retrial this February he received a three-year prisonsentence – reduced by the time he has already spent behind bars.

He has since been released with an electronic tag and is pursuing a further appeal against conviction.

Dizaei won his job back with the Metropolitan Police before the retrial, but has been suspended on full salary, pending the disciplinary process.

He asked Mrs Justice Lang for an injunction adjourning the hearing, claiming that he received notification of the date, and details of funding of his legal expenses, too late for him to find representation. He claimed that the Metropolitan Police had been negligent in its handling of the misconduct proceedings – which he says should await the outcome of any criminal appeal.

Dismissing the application, the judge said that there was no evidence of negligence and that the claim was misconceived in law and had no prospect of success.

Dizaei was aware of the hearing date in good time and well aware of the provisions relating to legal representation and funding, she added. “The difficulty he finds himself in, in his lack of legal representation, is one of his own making.”

Dizaei was ordered to pay the £4,330 police costs of contesting the application.

DIZAEI – ELIGIBLE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jailed Metropolitan Police Commander Ali Dizaei is eligible to apply for almost immediate release on Home Detention Curfew (HDC), according to Converse, the national prisoners newspaper for England and Wales.

HDC allows anyone serving less than four years, for offences which do not involve drugs, sex, violence or terrorism, to be released extra-early with an electronic tag.

Anyone serving more than 18 months but less than four years, as in Dizaei’s case, is eligible to be released an extra 135 days before they would normally have been freed.

Converse editor Mark Leech said:

“Because Dizaei is now serving a three year sentence, not the four years he was originally sentenced to, he is eligible to apply for Home Detention Curfew – which means that in addition to serving 18 months of that sentence the last 135 days can also be spent on what is known as ‘the tag’.

“Dizaei has already served 15 months, in effect he only has around 90 days to serve – but he is eligible for 135 days on HDC which means he can be released pretty much straight away once the paperwork is completed.”