Police inspector ‘stole and plotted to sell seized drugs’

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A POLICE inspector accused of stealing drugs seized by the West Yorkshire force with intent to sell them on has made his first Crown court appearance alongside his son.

Keith Boots, 54 , is accused of 12 drugs offences, one count of possession of ammunition and one court of perverting the course of justice.

Boots appeared at Leeds Crown Court on screen via a video link from Armley jail alongside his 29-year-old son Ashley Boots.

A third man, Ian Mitchell, 27, appeared by a video link from Doncaster Prison in connection with the case.

Boots was suspended from duty after he was arrested at his home in Norman Lane, Eccleshill, which was raided by police in December 2014.

Paul Greaney, QC, prosecuting, told the court: “This is a complex involving police corruption. Keith Boots is a police inspector and the prosecution’s case is that he abused his position to steal drugs in large quantities and conspired with his son to put them back in circulation. It is the Crown’s case that Ian Mitchell was used a patsy to explain away their conduct when they were caught.”

Keith Boots faces charges of theft of cocaine from West Yorkshire Police on December 4 last year; theft of trifluoromethylphenylpiperazine belonging to West Yorkshire Police between April 8, 2013 and December 5 2014; theft of cannabis from West Yorkshire Police between November 13 and December 5, 2014; theft of cannabis from West Yorkshire Police between November 6 and December 5, 2014; possession of cocaine on December 5, 2014; possession of diamorphine with intent to supply on December 5, 2014; possession of cannabis with intent to supply on December 5, 2014; possession of cannabis resin with intent to supply on December 5, 2014; possession of methylenedioxymethlamphetamine with intent to supply on December 5, 2014; conspiring with other persons to steal controlled drugs belonging to West Yorkshire Police between May 27, 2012 and December 5, 2014; conspiring with others to supply a quantity of cocaine between May 27, 2012 and December 5, 2014; conspiring with others to supply cannabis between May 27, 2012 and December 5, 2014.

In addition he faces charges of conspiring with Ashley Boots between December 4, 2013 and January 13, 2014 to do an act so that Ian Mitchell would falsely accept blame for the presence of drugs at a property in Norman Lane; and possession of ammunition, namely 25 Browning cartridges, on December 5 this year.

Ashley Boots, of Weatherhouse Terrace, Halifax, faces eight drugs charges, one count of ammunition possession and one of perverting the course of justice.

The third defendant, Ian Mitchell, of no fixed address, is accused of perverting the course of justice.

No pleas were entered at the hearing after barristers for the the defendants told the court there were a number of issues relating to evidence still to be resolved.

The next hearing may be held early in May. A trial, lasting up to 12 weeks, could be held later this year.

All three men were told they would be remanded in custody until the next hearing.

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