Detective stole and ‘sold seized drugs for £600,000’

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A detective made £600,000 by selling drugs seized during million-pound police operations, a court heard

Det Con Nicholas McFadden, 38, formerly of Ossett, concocted a web of lies to explain away his extravagant lifestyle, a jury was told today (Tuesday).

Nicholas McFadden was transformed from a father who struggled with money to one who was splashing out on designer clothes, trips away, jewellery, home improvements and cars and cash for an ex-lover.

He is alleged to have abused his position of trust to steal drugs - which had been taken off the streets - from a covert police compound.

He is accused of stealing thousands of pounds worth of heroin, cocaine, amphetamine and cannabis.

And then, with his debt collector brother, Simon, 41, of conspiring to supply those drugs for profit.

Paul Greaney QC, told Leeds Crown Court: “This plot of the brothers was successful and generated huge sums in cash. They spent heavily, but made so much money they did not know what to do with it.”

Mr Greaney said colleagues of Det Con McFadden noticed he had a reputation for being “historically poor at managing his own finances.”

He added: “However, in late 2010 those colleagues noted that he purchased a private number plate for his car, that he began to wear designer clothing and an expensive wristwatch, that he spoke of gifts that he had bought his wife.”

The jury heard that an ex-girlfriend, policewoman Tanya Strangeway, who Det Con McFadden started “knocking off” - according to his brother - also received luxury gifts of a gift-wrapped bundle of £20 notes, totalling £10,000, and an Audi car.

Mr Greaney said he explained away his excess money by telling his work that his wife had received an insurance payout after being ill with cancer - which was a lie.

He also told his wife he was being paid double for overtime and later that he had remortgaged another home they owned plus his police pension had started paying out.

It is alleged he told Tanya Strangeway he had a windfall after selling his house.

Mr Greaney said police first became aware of Nicholas McFadden’s suspicious activity in the middle of 2011 when his bank alerted them to the fact that he had deposited £30,000 pounds in small payments into their cash machines over three months.

When police arrested him at work in October 2011 they searched his Ford Focus car and found £6,000 of cash hidden in different compartments, the jury heard.

A search of the family home he shared with his deputy head teacher wife, Clair, in Castleford, found cash stashed in bags, totalling £19,755, and a further £157,560 in the garage,

Nicholas McFadden later claimed he stole the money from a drug dealer. His brother said he had won money at the casino.

Nicholas McFadden denies stealing the drugs and conspiring to supply them.

Simon McFadden, of Harehills Leeds, denies conspiracy to supply.

The trial continues.