Former West Yorkshire Police officer jailed for stealing more than £12,000 of seized cash will pay back just £1

A former West Yorkshire Police officer who was jailed for stealing more than £12,000 of seized cash will be required to pay back just £1 of his ill-gotten gains.

By Georgina Morris
Saturday, 30th April 2022, 4:30 pm

Sean Donoghue, 54, who was a detective constable in Protective Services Crime, previously pleaded guilty to one count of misconduct in a public office.

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He was sentenced to two years and four months in prison when he appeared at Leeds Crown Court in November last year.

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Sean Donohue stole more than £12,000 in cash which had been seized as part of police investigations.

Donoghue was caught when several open police exhibit bags were found at his former home in April 2019. The bags had previously contained cash.

An investigation was carried out into seized cash handled by Donoghue and it was found that a number of exhibits had been 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.

At the time of his sentencing, it was believed that Donoghue had stolen at least £12,592.

However, a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing at the court on Friday was told that the appointed financial investigator now believed the total to be just over £16,000.

The court heard Donoghue had no funds to his name as a result of the family courts making a matrimonial order for money owed and the investigation had uncovered no hidden assets.

In the absence of any funds, the judge, Mr Recorder Ben Nolan QC, ordered that a nominal sum of £1 should be paid.

Addressing Donoghue, he said: "I would say you won't be complaining about that. Everybody except you is happy you've got nothing squirrelled away, I should say."

A gross misconduct investigation was carried out by West Yorkshire Police prior to Donoghue's conviction, in relation to another matter in which he was involved.

It resulted in him being dismissed from the force without notice and prevented him from working for any police force in England and Wales.