Two Corrupt West Midlands Cops Jailed

westmidscopsanon

Two corrupt police officers caught in an internal sting operation stealing cash and cigarettes have been jailed for 20 weeks.

Mark Davis, 31, and 33-year-old Neil Samuels, had each previously admitted a single count of theft of hundreds of Marlboro cigarettes and £10 cash apiece before appearing for sentencing at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court today.

Jailing the pair, District Judge David Robinson said their crime was “a gross breach of trust” adding the “impact of such offending on public confidence is high”.

The two serving police officers were caught stealing after they were the focus of a targeted integrity check by their employer West Midlands Police’s counter corruption unit, which was acting on a tip-off.

Both Davis and Samuels had previously pleaded guilty in February to theft of 400 cigarettes with each haul worth a total of £179.80, after they carried out what they believed to be a bona fide house search in July 2013.

Davis, of Clent Road in Oldbury, West Midlands, who has been with the police force six years, and Samuels, of Croft Lane, Wolverhampton, who has been employed for 11 years, have been suspended since the allegations surfaced and are now set to lose their jobs following a professional standards process.

Defence barrister Mark Kelly, offering mitigation for the pair, said Samuels had taken the cash to buy a “peace-offering” for his wife as their relationship had been under strain.

He added Davis had been coping with “a mild-to-severe” depressive illness, added to by “difficulties with his ex-partner which has had a significant impact on him”.

Both men, added Mr Kelly, were simply going to share the cigarettes out “with friends” and had not stolen for financial gain.

He also said any jail term would have a big impact of the men, who both had young families to support.

The operation to snare the two, both employed as response officers covering Sandwell in the West Midlands, was launched after information was handed to their employer in April 2013.

Mr Robinson, in sentencing, set out in detail how the two men were caught out.

He said the officers had been briefed that a male suspect had been arrested by officers from neighbouring Warwickshire Police and they were then sent by their superiors to search that man’s home and seize evidence.

“What you did not know was that you were the subject of a covert monitoring integrity investigation set up to record and observe how you behaved,” said Mr Robinson.

The two did seize property for the mock investigation and returned to the police station, before filling out false reports of what they had collected.

Mr Robinson said: “You intended to mislead Warwickshire Police about what had been seized – you were later stopped and arrested.

“It was a joint offence you executed together.

“In my view it was calculated – that is apparent from the discussion recorded together (in the house); the property you decided to take, and the way you equally divided the property.

“You falsified not only the search records but the witness statement, and you did all this believing that or knowing that if circumstances were as you believed them, this could have impeded a critical investigation with all the consequences that might have had to the individual you believed to be in custody, and of course for justice itself.”

Mr Robinson added: “Both of you have suffered recent events in your life that have caused distress.”

He also accepted Davis and Samuels felt “genuine remorse” for what they themselves had described as a “terrible mistake”.

However, sentencing the pair – as relatives in the public gallery burst into tears – he said: “In my view, these offences are so serious that neither a fine, a community order, or a suspended sentence order can be justified.

“For the offence of theft you will each serve 20 weeks – half in prison, and half on licence.”

A legal restriction barring reporting of Davis’ address was lifted after an application by the Press Association.

Cop Jailed For Under-Age Sex

PC Christopher Semak Jailed
PC Christopher Semak Jailed

A police officer based in south Birmingham has been jailed for six years after being convicted of sexual activity with a child.

West Midlands Police said Christopher Semak carried out the crimes between April 2010 and November 2011 when the girl, who was known to the man, was aged 14 and 15.

The 33-year-old officer was arrested on January 24, 2012 from his Kings Norton home – on the same day the girl, then aged 16, revealed that she had been systematically assaulted over the course of two years, police said.

He was handed the prison sentence following a four-week trial at Stafford Crown Court.

A major police investigation was immediately launched and the officer, who joined the force in 2010, was suspended from the force with his access to police buildings restricted.

A police spokesman said that as part of the lengthy inquiry in which texts and emails were scrutinised, detectives did not find any other victims other than the girl who was known to Semak outside of work.

Detective Superintendent Tim Bacon, from the force’s Public Protection Unit, said: “Christopher Semak has today been found guilty of sexual activity with a child. It is clear that he groomed the victim for his own sexual gratification. His actions were disgraceful for any person let alone a man who, when he became a police officer, swore an oath to protect people.

“Throughout his trial Semak failed to take responsibility for his own actions.

“The verdict of the jury today reflects their belief that this was in fact a tissue of lies designed to undermine the victim and save himself.

“The sexual exploitation of children is child abuse. In this case the offender is a police officer who whilst not on duty at the time betrayed the trust that the victim and others had in him to take advantage of the victim and in doing so has caused her severe emotional trauma.

“I hope that he will reflect on his actions and the emotional scars he inflicted on his victim and those around him.”

Police said Semak was handed a sexual offences prevention order in addition to the jail sentence.

Semak is banned from working with or having unsupervised access to children under the conditions attached to the order.

He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for life.

With criminal proceedings now completed, the case will go before a special police disciplinary panel where senior officers will determine his future with the force in line with national guidelines.

PC TWIT – WARNED FOR TWITTERING

A police officer who sent a “wholly inappropriate” message on Twitter after helping to arrest two suspects in the Emma Winnall assault inquiry has been spoken to about his conduct.

Pc Hanif Sanghar, of West Midlands Police, reportedly used Twitter to inform his 2,700 followers that officers had “arrested the offenders” involved in the attack on the 93-year-old.

Pc Sanghar even alluded to the fact the arrests were going to be made, telling his followers that he was “due to be up very early” yesterday morning.

At 5.06am, just over an hour before a 56-year-old woman and a 28-year-old man were arrested on suspicion of assault, he tweeted to a colleague that he was “on an operation”.

Emma Winnall was left with a severed finger, a broken arm and wrist after the attack in her ground-floor flat in Moseley, Birmingham, on May 1.

Police said the arrested woman was not Miss Winnall’s daughter Joyce Blencoe, who is also 56.

Chief Insp Sally Seeley, from West Midlands Police, said: “The man and woman arrested in connection with the attack on Emma Winnall are suspects. They are innocent until proven guilty.”

She said in Pc Sanghar’s keenness to update the public “he used terminology which was wholly inappropriate”.

She added: “The officer has been advised and the tweets removed.”