A POLICE station worker was caught on camera stealing cash which had been seized from Leeds criminals.
A court heard Kathleen Gowler helped herself to money while working at Killingbeck police station.
Admin assistant Gowler, 50, was part of a small team responsible for the storage of seized cash before ensuring it was banked.
Leeds Crown Court heard Gowler’s offending came to light in August 2012 after a large of money was seized from a drug dealer who was subsequently jailed. A judge made a confiscation order for £1,320 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
When a financial officer went to collect the money it became clear that only £1,270 of it had been banked. An investigation was launched and a hidden camera was placed in Gowler’s office. She was filmed taking five £20 notes while counting cash at her desk before putting it into her handbag.
Gowler, of Tingley Hall Rise, Tingley, admitted stealing the cash after being shown the footage. She pleaded guilty to three offences of theft.
The court heard there was no apparent motive for the offending as her husband has a well paid job and she is not in need of money.
Andrew Stranex, mitigating, said: “It is difficult to seek to explain how she became involved in this. She was clearly in a position where she neither needed this money nor had the motivation to take it.”
Gowler was given a four month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to do 120 hours unpaid work. The Recorder of Leeds, judge Peter Collier, QC, said the offence was aggravated by the fact that she had put her colleagues under suspicion.
Det Chief Supt Andy Brennan, Head of West Yorkshire Police’s Professional Standards Department, said: “West Yorkshire Police and the public expect only the highest standards from all police officers and staff. Criminal behaviour or conduct which falls below this standard will not be tolerated. She has already been dismissed from the organisation.”