A counter-terrorism officer has been jailed after being convicted of defrauding the Metropolitan Police out of thousands of pounds in a property scam during the July 7 bombings investigation.
Detective Constable Daren Pooley, 41, took the opportunity to make a “quick profit” out of his employers while on a long-term deployment to Leeds following the terrorist attacks on London in 2005.
He was jailed for three years at London’s Southwark Crown Court, while his wife Nicola, 38, who was also found guilty of conspiracy to defraud following a three-week trial last month, was sentenced to 36 weeks’ imprisonment suspended for 18 months.
The conspiracy involved over-charging the Met for apartment rentals during their stay to the tune of £93,000 – although the actual loss to the force would have been lower due to costs such as utility bills, the court heard.
At first, the Met officers sent to Leeds were divided into two teams and put up in hotels at a cost of around £3,000 a month per officer, the court heard.
But, to save money, the teams were later moved to apartments. In May 2006, one team of officers moved into a block of serviced apartments in the Riverside West area of Leeds at a cost of £2,000 per month.
Pooley had by then met his future wife when she was staying in the same hotel and started a relationship with her.
Mrs Pooley’s brother-in-law, Stephen Butler, 59, ran a company called Citizen Group. Butler arranged for a lettings firm to provide four apartments, which were smaller and not fully serviced, in the Clarence Dock area of the city, into which Pooley and his team moved.
The court heard that Citizen Group charged the Met £1,950 a month for each apartment but paid only £650 in rent, with the conspirators pocketing the difference each month.
Mrs Pooley’s brother-in-law, Butler, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud at an earlier hearing. He was sentenced to 12 months in prison.