Officers suspended for 'bugging abuse'

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The Independent Online

Three detectives were suspended from operational duties yesterday over accusations by a judge that police had illegally bugged five men accused of a murder plot.

An investigation is being held by Lincolnshire police after the trial of the five men accused of conspiring to kill Mark Corley was thrown out at Nottingham Crown Court.

Detective Chief Inspector Tony White, Detective Inspector Roger Bannister and Detective Sergeant Steve Thorn have been taken off all operational duties pending a Police Complaints Authority inquiry.

A spokesman for Lincolnshire police said: "We fully recognise the serious nature of the comments made by Mr Justice Newman at Nottingham Crown Court and understand the media and public concern arising out of this case ... Lincolnshire police have taken three detective officers off all operational duties."

Mr Corley's mother, Eileen, vowed to continue her fight for justice. She was "absolutely devastated" that no one had been convicted over the death of her son, whose body was found in a field in Co Durham in December 2000, five months after he was shot in the head.

Nottingham Crown Court was told that hidden microphones had been installed at two police stations, recording conversations between the accused and their solicitors.

Robert Sutherland, 36, of Bathgate, West Lothian, pleaded not guilty to murder. He also denied conspiracy to murder with John Smith, 27, Gary Self, 36, Danny Gray, 21, and John Toseland, 59, from Grantham.