Leeds & West Yorkshire

Washing machine drugs police Inspector Keith Boots jailed

Keith Boots Image copyright WEST YORKSHIRE POLICE
Image caption Boots was described as a "disgrace" to the uniform he once wore

A police inspector who was found with 11kg of cocaine in his washing machine has been jailed for 26 years.

Keith Boots, 55, was responsible for seizing and disposing of drugs for West Yorkshire Police, but instead stole them to supply back to criminal gangs.

When colleagues raided his Bradford home they found cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and cannabis with an estimated street value of £700,000.

He was sentenced on Friday at Leeds Crown Court after a three-month trial.

His son Ashley Boots, 30, of Weatherhouse Terrace, Halifax, was sentenced to 24 years and Ian Mitchell, of no fixed address, to five years.

'1970s rock star'

Judge Geoffrey Marson QC described Boots, of Norman Lane in Eccleshill, Bradford, as "a disgrace to to the uniform he once wore".

"Your arrogance was your downfall because no-one would doubt the word of a trusted police officer."

Boot was sacked from the force in March 2016, he said.

Image copyright West Yorkshire Police
Image caption Boots' home was said to resemble a drugs warehouse
Image copyright West Yorkshire POlice
Image caption Boots' son Ashley was also jailed for his role in his father's operation

During the trial, prosecutors described Boots' home as resembling "a warehouse of controlled drugs".

Prosecutor Paul Greaney told the court in January: "What was found on the ground floor would have kept a 1970s rock star, as well as his band, entertained for weeks."

Boots was found guilty of a range of offences including conspiracy to steal drugs, conspiracy to supply drugs, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, theft and possessing drugs with intent to supply.

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Det Supt Simon Bottomley, speaking after Boots' sentencing, said: "He is a criminal who pretended to uphold the values expected of a police officer but in reality fell a very long way short of the high standards expected with the uniform.

"He is an embarrassment to force employees who day in day out work tirelessly to keep the people of West Yorkshire safe.

"Boots' colleagues were taking drugs off of the streets whilst he was looking to put them back out there."

Ashley Boots, was found guilty of three counts of conspiracy to supply controlled drugs, one count of conspiracy to steal and one count of perverting the course of justice.

He admitted seven counts of possession with intent to supply drugs and one count of possession of a quantity of ammunition.

Mitchell was found guilty of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

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