London

7/7 officer cleared of Metropolitan Police fraud

A Metropolitan Police (Met) officer has been cleared of defrauding the force while investigating the 7 July attacks.

The case against Det Sgt Peter Allbut, 45, collapsed when the judge at Southwark Crown Court ruled there was a lack of evidence.

Mr Allbut was accused of fraudulently paying £9,200 into his personal bank account.

He was one of a number of officers deployed to Leeds following the terrorist attacks on London in 2005.

Rent bills

The court heard the officers were posted in hotels but as the costs grew they were moved into rented accommodation.

Mr Allbut was one of a number of officers entitled to withdraw cash on an American Express card to pay those monthly rental bills.

Paul Watson QC, prosecuting, told the court the officer had taken advantage of this access and instead deposited sums of money into his own account on three occasions - £2,200, £4,000 and £3,000 - between February and May 2007.

But Judge Geoffrey Rivlin QC ruled there was insufficient evidence against Mr Allbut and directed the jury to return a not guilty verdict.

Mr Allbut had denied three counts of fraud.

Property scam

In July Mr Allbut and another officer - Det Sgt Nevill Caldecourt, 50 - were cleared of inflating their expenses bill by overcharging for flat rentals in Leeds.

They were found not guilty of conspiracy to defraud and misconduct in a public office.

Another counter-terrorism officer based in Leeds following the bombings was found guilty of defrauding the Met of thousands of pounds in a property scam.

Det Con Daren Pooley, 41 and his wife Nicola, 37, were convicted of conspiracy to defraud last month.

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