London

Support officer jailed for giving criminals information

A London community support officer has been jailed for 15 months for sending criminals police intelligence.

Sonuc Mehmet, 24, based in Havering, gave the information by text for money to fund his gambling addiction, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.

He gave addresses of potential cannabis factories which were then robbed. In one case 2.9kg (6lb) of cannabis valued at £17,000 was taken.

Mehmet resigned from the Metropolitan Police last October.

He carried out more than 250 searches of the force's criminal intelligence systems for cannabis factories across the London area in just one month, the court heard.

'Genuinely remorseful'

Judge David Radford, the honorary recorder of Redbridge, said Mehmet grossly abused his position of trust as he set out to make money by helping criminals.

He added Mehmet had been an exemplary PCSO after joining the force in November 2006 but his attitude and behaviour changed when he developed a "pathological" gambling problem in December 2008.

In mitigation, Valerie Charbit said Mehmet, of Maple Close, Stoke Newington, north London, hoped to gain just £200 by providing the information to the criminals, but was never paid.

"This defendant is genuinely remorseful," she said.

Mark Fenhalls, for the prosecution, said Mehmet originally told police in interview that he was accessing the force computer systems every day because the official briefings were "very poor" and he needed the information for his personal safety.

But as the evidence against him mounted he pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office between June 29 and July 21 last year.

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