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Ex-policeman jailed over money laundering

A former police constable was jailed for 16 months today after admitting laundering more than £80,000.

Darren Graysmark, 44, of Coney Furlong, Peacehaven, East Sussex, had served with Sussex Police for 23 years but resigned on the same day that he entered his guilty plea last month.

He was arrested after officers from his own force found cocaine with an estimated street value of £148,000 in his car on April 8 last year.

Graysmark was not in the car when police pulled over the vehicle being driven by his boyfriend, Darren Simpson, on the northbound A23 at Handcross, near Crawley.

But the officers' inquiries led them to the home the two men shared where they seized a quantity of financial correspondence together with £12,000 in cash.

Graysmark pleaded guilty to a charge of money laundering a total of £80,921 over a five-year period up to April last year when he appeared at Maidstone Crown Court in Kent on July 26.

He was sentenced at the same court today, a Sussex Police spokesman said.

The arrests were part of a wider investigation by the force's serious and organised crime unit as part of an inquiry into alleged drugs trafficking.

Simpson, 42, was later charged with possession with intent to supply, which he pleaded guilty to, and he is currently awaiting sentence.

Graysmark, who was working at Newhaven Port's police unit at the time of his arrest, was suspended on full pay until his resignation.

The police spokesman said a confiscation hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act will take place at the same court at a later date.

Deputy Chief Constable Giles York said: "Darren Graysmark let himself, his colleagues and the public down, in knowingly benefiting from organised crime.

"He took money which was the proceeds of crime and used to it support his own lifestyle.

"As soon as our detectives found out, immediate action was taken to arrest him and seize his assets.

"This sentence sends a clear message that there is no tolerance in the police service for criminal activity by anyone who works for us.

"The public must expect more of Sussex Police in serving Sussex."

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Paice, of the serious and organised crime unit, said: "To start with Graysmark tried to maintain that he had no knowledge of any criminal activity, but eventually it became clear to him that he could not continue with that pretence and he has now accepted that he knew money which was funding his comfortable lifestyle was the proceeds of crime."