7/7 officer cleared of defrauding Met police

The case against a counter terrorism officer accused of defrauding the Metropolitan police while investigating the July 7 bombings collapsed today after a judge ruled there was a lack of evidence against him.

Detective Sergeant Peter Allbut, 45, was charged with fraudulently paying £9,200 into his personal bank account, a jury at London's Southwark Crown Court was told earlier this week.

Mr Allbut, from the Metropolitan Police's Counter Terrorism Command, was one of a number of officers deployed to Leeds following the terrorist attacks on London in 2005.

The court was told the officers had been posted in hotels initially but as accommodation costs mounted they were moved to rented accommodation.

Allbut was one of a number of officers entitled to withdraw cash on an American Express card to pay the monthly rent bills for the Leeds accommodation.

Paul Watson QC, prosecuting, had alleged Allbut took advantage of this access and instead deposited sums of money into his own account on three occasions.

He claimed the officer had fraudulently withdrawn £2,200, £4,000 and £3,000 between February and May 2007.

But following the conclusion of the prosecution case today Judge Geoffrey Rivlin QC ruled that there was insufficient evidence against Mr Allbut and directed the jury to return a not guilty verdict, a court spokeswoman said.

Mr Allbut had denied three counts of fraud.

Last month another counter terrorism officer who was also stationed in Leeds following the bombings was found guilty at the same court of defrauding the Met of thousands of pounds in a property scam.

Detective Constable Daren Pooley, 41 and his wife Nicola, 37, were convicted of conspiracy to defraud.