UK judge clears policeman of fraud during London bomb probe

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ambulances responding to the London bombings. Today an officer was cleared for the second time of defrauding the Metropolitan Police while investigating the attacks.

A judge cleared a police detective today of fraud relating to money intended for use investigating the London bombings in 2005. Detective Sergeant Peter Allbut was accused of keeping £9,200 set aside to accommodate officers sent to Leeds during the probe.

Southwark Crown Court was told by Paul Watson QC, prosecuting, that Allbut was given access to an American Express card to withdraw funds to pay rent bills after the cost of hotels was deemed excessive. Allbut was alleged to have on three occasions between February and May 2007 to have siphoned funds into his personal bank account. Allbut denied three counts of fraud relating to £2,200, £4,000 and £3,000.

After today's conclusion of the prosecution case Judge Geoffrey Rivlin QC ruled there was insufficient evidence against the officer and ordered the jury to find him not guilty. It is the second time Allbut has been cleared of criminal financial dealings in the course of his duties with the Metropolitan Police's Counter Terrorism Command.

In July Allbut and a fellow Detective Seargent, Nevill Caldecourt, were tried over allegations they had purposely overcharged for flat rentals on expenses. Both were found not guilty of conspiracy to defraud and misconduct in a public office. Last month another counterterrorism officer with the force was convicted alongside his wife on a similar case in which he overcharged his employers for apartments. Detective Constable Daren Pooley and his wife Nicola were convicted of conspiracy to defraud for running the scheme while deployed to Leeds after the London bombings.