Police chief thief jailed for two years

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The Independent Online
A POLICE chief who duped his force out of more than pounds 26,000 was yesterday jailed for two years.

Chief Superintendent Colin McDonald, 51, was also ordered to pay pounds 26,642 compensation to West Midlands Police after Birmingham Crown Court heard how he tricked the force over three years.

Malcolm Morse, for the prosecution, said McDonald fiddled expenses claims and stole cash allowances for police operations between April 1994 and November last year.

McDonald, who admitted six counts of theft and one of obtaining property by deception, even claimed pounds 800 for a conference on football hooliganism in Bilbao, Spain, which he did not attend.

McDonald, who had 29 years' service, regularly pocketed money after completing cash advance forms using other officers' names without their knowledge. He also claimed cash for use in operations such as crackdowns on car crime that he was not involved in. Sentencing McDonald, who asked for 69 offences to be taken into consideration, Judge Alistair McCreath said he had committed a "gross breach of trust" made worse by his high rank.