Tyne & Wear

Ex-Northumbria police officer and wife cleared of drug dealing

Susan and Paul Thompson
Image caption Susan and Paul Thompson appeared at Newcastle Crown Court

A former drugs squad officer who admits being a cocaine addict has been cleared of dealing in the drug.

Former Northumbria Det Sgt Paul Thompson, 43, and his wife Susan, 44, had denied supplying cocaine to friends.

The couple of Dipton, in County Durham, were cleared after a trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

Paul Thompson pleaded guilty to three charges of possessing drugs and was fined £1,000.

He was found guilty of a single misconduct charge relating to making checks on the Northumbria Police computer on the tenants of properties owned by him and his wife.

But Thompson, who resigned from the Northumbria force before the trial, was cleared of misconduct in public office in relation to accessing confidential police records to help criminals.

Sentencing, Judge Esmond Faulks said: "The misconduct to which you have been found guilty is of a non-sinister type."

Sex drugs

Susan Thompson is an executive with a Middlesbrough-based housing group.

Text messages on her mobile telephone referred to "placing orders" and "party bags", which prosecutors alleged were references to cocaine.

But the jury accepted these were references to sex drugs or alcohol.

Susan Thompson told the six-week trial she and her husband took sex drugs, but denied taking cocaine or knowing her husband had developed a drug habit.

Paul Thompson was arrested while on duty at Gilbridge police station, Sunderland, in February last year after being under surveillance for weeks.

The former officer worked as an undercover test purchase officer for the drug squad.

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