Beds, Herts & Bucks

David Sharpe: Helen Bailey murder detective sacked

Det Sgt David Sharpe Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Part of the money David Sharpe stole has never been recovered

A detective highly commended for his work solving the murder of children's author Helen Bailey has been sacked after stealing money from a force.

Det Sgt David Sharpe, 40, worked for the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire major crime unit when, in a "snap decision", he stole £9,000 related to murder cases.

He was jailed for 20 months last week after admitting two counts of theft.

At a police misconduct hearing earlier he was dismissed for gross misconduct.

When he was sentenced the court was told the money Sharpe stole had been seized from two separate murder investigations and placed in a police safe.

Cambridgeshire Police's Chief Constable Nick Dean told the misconduct hearing in Huntingdon that the "credibility" of one of those cases had been "called into question" in court as a result of Sharpe's actions, which was "unacceptable".

Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Sharpe had been praised for his work to solve the murder of children's author Helen Bailey

The hearing was told part of the money Sharpe stole was "thrown away in a dustbin" and had never been recovered.

Jim Mallen, representing him, said Sharpe discarded the money because he was "disgusted with his own actions".

He said Sharpe "recognises what he did was fundamentally wrong" and was "utterly apologetic for the actions that day".

Mr Dean told the hearing: "The actions of Det Sgt Sharpe have brought the police service within Bedfordshire and across the policing environment into disrepute, not least the reputation of the major crime unit.

"He has let the reputation of the service down."

Sharpe, who had been suspended from duty since the theft, had previously received a commendation for the very highest standards of detective work for his role in solving the murder of author Helen Bailey in 2016.

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