Police officer admits money laundering charge

A police officer admitted laundering more than £80,000 when he appeared in court today.

Pc Darren Graysmark, 44, who has served with Sussex Police for 23 years, 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.

The vehicle was being driven by his boyfriend, Darren Simpson, 42, who was charged with possession with intent to supply.

Graysmark was not in the car at the time but the officers' inquiries led them to the home the men shared where they seized a quantity of financial correspondence together with £12,000 in cash.

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.

Graysmark, who was working at Newhaven Port's police unit at the time of his arrest, was suspended on full pay but today resigned from the force.

Appearing at Maidstone Crown Court in Kent, he pleaded guilty to a charge of money laundering a total of £80,921 over a five-year period, a spokesman for Sussex Police said.

Following his guilty plea Deputy Chief Constable of Sussex Police 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.

"Our response to this isolated example of police criminality 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, added: "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."

Sussex Police will now examine all the evidence compiled about Graysmark's financial affairs, and will then seek a court confiscation order to be served on him under the Proceeds of Crime Act, the spokesman added.

Graysmark, of Coney Furlong, Peacehaven, East Sussex, was given continued bail and will be sentenced at the same court at a date yet to be fixed.