A Lincolnshire constable has been jailed for stealing cannabis from the evidence room at his police station
By BBC News
Pc Timothy Moorhouse took small quantities of the drug from evidence bags at Boston police station before returning the bags to storage.
The 37-year-old’s frequent visits to the storeroom raised suspicions, Lincoln Crown Court heard.
He was jailed for 14 months after admitting nine charges of theft between 29 September 2010 and 14 January 2011.
The court was told that Moorhouse began using cannabis after a trip to Amsterdam, to help him relieve stress caused by marriage problems and debts of about £40,000.
He said he felt he could not buy the drug in pubs or on the street and instead dipped into quantities of cannabis seized from suspects.
Sheryl Loughney, prosecuting, said a civilian worker at the station noticed that two evidence bags had been tampered with and reported the matter to senior officers.
Anti-corruption officers placed dummy evidence bags containing what appeared to be cannabis inside the property store, and Moorhouse was filmed on CCTV as he removed a bag.
His home was later searched and when a small amount of cannabis was found, he was arrested.
Judge Michael Heath told him: “You abused your position as a police officer. You were trusted by your colleagues and trusted by the public.
“It is only by good fortune that no cases have been jeopardised by your actions.
“These offences are so serious that the only sentences I can justify are custodial sentences.
“A police officer cannot steal from exhibits containing unlawful drugs and expect to keep his liberty.”
Moorhouse, of Bluebell Walk, Boston – who worked in the immigration crime enforcement team – also admitted one charge of possession of cannabis.
He subsequently resigned from the force and has since retrained as an HGV driver.
Lincolnshire Police said it was “vitally important police officers act with the utmost professionalism and integrity”.
The sentence imposed reflected the standards expected by the public, the force added.