Former West Yorkshire Police officer jailed after stealing more than £12K in seized cash

A former West Yorkshire Police officer has been sentenced after stealing more than £12,000 in cash which had been seized as part of police investigations.

Friday, 5th November 2021, 4:35 pm
Updated Friday, 5th November 2021, 4:36 pm
Sean Donoghue.

Sean Donoghue, 53, who was a detective constable in Protective Services Crime, previously pleaded guilty to one count of misconduct in a public office and appeared at Leeds Crown Court today (Friday) for sentencing.

He was sentenced to two years and four months custody.

The misconduct in a public office charge relates to police property found at Donoghue’s former address in April 2019. A number of open police exhibit bags were found which had previously contained cash.

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An investigation was carried out into exhibits handled by Donoghue. Enquiries uncovered a number of exhibits which were recorded as having been ‘returned to owner’.

These owners were contacted and they confirmed this had not been the case.

Banking enquiries also uncovered multiple occasions when cash deposits were made by Donoghue immediately after cash exhibits were taken by him from the property store.

It is believed that Donoghue stole at least £12,592 in cash.

A gross misconduct investigation was carried out earlier this year in relation to another matter involving this officer. This resulted in him being dismissed from West Yorkshire Police without notice and prevented from working for any police force in England and Wales.

Detective Chief Inspector Shaf Rehman, of West Yorkshire Police’s Professional Standards Directorate, said: “It is a privilege to work for the police and this former officer has abused that privilege and misused his powers for his own financial gain.

“We have clear standards of professional behaviour that we expect of our officers, staff and volunteers, on and off duty, and at the cornerstone of this is honesty and integrity. It is right for someone with the lack of integrity that Donoghue has displayed to be barred from working in law enforcement.

“We have liaised with colleagues in the Economic Crime Unit and will now be seeking to pursue an investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act to ensure that Donoghue does not benefit financially from his offending.”