Mon, 06 Jun 2011
A police officer “helped himself” to £50 after being told to search a burglary suspect’s car, a court has been told.
But the 31 year-old constable was being secretly monitored as part of a police undercover operation being carried out to test the honesty of officers in Birmingham.
When confronted with the allegation that he stole the money, PC Dean Bonner admitted taking it – but claimed he had done it because of a “hatred of burglars” and had torn the cash up.
Bonner, based at Bournville Lane police station, has denied theft and misconduct in a public office by failing to report or record all property recovered during a search of a Ford Mondeo.
Peter Cooke, prosecuting at Birmingham Crown Court, said that West Midlands Police ran the opeartion to investigate the integrity of their officers on August 12 last year.
This involved a wallet containing £50 in marked banknotes being placed in the glove compartment of a car which was fitted with secret recording equipment and parked at Selly Oak railway station
Mr Cooke said an officer calling himself Detective Constable Mark Price phoned PC Bonner and told him to search the vehicle.
He told the defendant that the car was linked to a man who had been arrested on suspicion of burglary and made it plain there was a particular interest to know whether there was any money or jewellery in the car.
Mr Cooke said “Mark” did not say anything specifically about a wallet containing money.
He said PC Bonner then drove alone to the railway station in a marked police vehicle.
“The prosecution case is that, when PC Bonner came across the wallet, he stole it, taking the cash from it and dumping the wallet itself into a waste bin,” said Mr Cooke.
He said, when the defendant got back to the police station, he completed a search form on which was recorded the other items he found, but there was no reference to the wallet or cash...........
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