Drugs detective cleared

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The Independent Online
THE FIRST officer to stand trial at the Old Bailey since the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Paul Condon, launched an anti-corruption investigation in his force was cleared yesterday of breaking into a flat and taking part in a plot to supply cannabis resin.

But two of his former colleagues are awaiting sentence after admitting earlier that they burgled the flat in Silvertown, east London, and stole 80kg of cannabis resin last December.

Outside the court, retired Flying Squad detective constable Keith Green, 41, of Ilford, Essex, said he still believed in the Metropolitan Police and did not want to criticise the force. He had denied aggravated burglary and conspiracy to supply a class B drug.

Mr Green had served in Walthamstow, east London, between 1988 and 1993, as had the two former colleagues, the prosecution had told the court. He had retired on grounds of ill health in July 1996. One of the other accused - Kevin Garner - had also retired. The third man, Terence McGuinness, had left the Flying Squad but was stationed in the CID at Limehouse, east London, at the time.

Garner, 38, of Brentwood and McGuinness, 40, of Hornchurch, both in Essex, have both admitted burglary and conspiracy as well as other offences and await sentence. They had walked into a trap set by the Complaints Investigation Bureau when they broke into the flat.

Four police officers, a retired detective and a solicitor appeared in court yesterday to face charges relating to the theft of the proceeds of an armed robbery. The five officers were serving in the Metropolitan Police's Flying Squad in 1995 when pounds 47,000 taken from a Security Express van by robbers is said to have gone missing. All six were remanded on bail at Bow Street magistrates' court in London.