London

Met police officer jailed for 7/7 inquiry fraud

Daren Pooley
Image caption Counter-terrorism officer Daren Pooley served with the Met for 12 years

A Metropolitan Police officer has been jailed for three years for defrauding the force in a property scam while investigating the 7 July bombings.

Det Con Daren Pooley, 41, sought to make a "quick profit" out of the force while on a deployment to Leeds in 2006, Southwark Crown Court heard.

His wife Nicola, 38, was jailed for 36 weeks, suspended for 18 months.

They were both convicted of conspiracy to defraud after overcharging the police for rented apartments.

Pooling, of Spalding, Lincolnshire, and his wife, of Sleaford, also Lincolnshire, both denied fraud.

The pair had married since the offences were committed but have since separated.

Between April 2006 and September 2007, Pooley, a counter-terrorism officer, his future wife and Mrs Pooley's brother-in-law Stephen Butler charged the Met £1,950 for apartments for which the officer was paying £650 in rent.

Butler, 59, also from Spalding, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud in May, has been jailed for 12 months.

'No remorse'

The Met was charged about £93,000 during the period, the court heard.

Sentencing Pooley, Judge Geoffrey Rivlin QC told him: "You were highly regarded in the force and you were in a position of trust.

"You breached that trust by dishonestly seizing the opportunity to make a lot of money in cash.

Image caption Nicola Pooley was described as a 'knowing go-between'

"This was a prolonged and determined fraud by a trusted police officer against his own police force.

"You have never admitted your part in the offence. You have shown no remorse."

Pooley's 12-year career at the force, during which he was quickly promoted and honoured for bravery, came to a "tragic end", the officer's counsel Gareth Weetman said in mitigation.

The judge said Nicola Pooley was the "knowing go-between" between her husband and Butler.

"I am sure you played no part in devising this conspiracy and if you did obtain anything from it, it was very little," the judge added.

Pooley, a father of three, was on long-term deployment when the fraud took place.

Rent scam

Three of the 7 July suicide bombers, Mohammed Siddique Khan, Shehzad Tanweer and Hasib Hussain, were from Leeds. The fourth bomber, Jermain Lindsay, was from Buckinghamshire.

When the Met sent two teams to Leeds to investigate the 2005 bombings, the officers were first put up in hotels, costing £3,000 a month per officer. Pooley met his future wife during his stay in a hotel.

The police teams were later moved into serviced apartments in the Riverside West area, reducing the expense to £2,000 per officer, the court heard.

Butler ran a company called Citizen Group and arranged for a lettings firm to provide four not fully serviced apartments in the Clarence Dock area.

His firm charged the Met a monthly rent of £1,950 while the actual rent for flats was £650. The force did not know about Butler and Pooley's relationship and details of the rental agreement.

Butler confessed his part in the scam to the Met after officers found some emails, the court heard.

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