Sentence doubled for corrupt PC

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The Independent Online

A corrupt police officer who conspired with a drug dealer had his three-year jail sentence doubled at the Court of Appeal today.

Mark Bohannan, who was with the force for 25 years before his dismissal, passed confidential information to his cocaine-taking wife Denise and her dealer in return for free drugs and money, Southwark Crown Court heard in February during a six-week trial.



Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith said that Pc Bohannan's actions, which involved 471 checks on a variety of police intelligence systems, enabled the dealer to boast he had "a corrupt police officer on the end of the line" and enable large-scale drug dealing to go "undetected and unpunished" for five to six years.



Bohannan, of Chapel Road, Bexleyheath, who worked with the Metropolitan Police Territorial Support Group, in Catford, south London, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office.



The judge said: "It seems to me that he did what he thought his wife wanted him to do. I've no doubt he would have preferred his wife not to be a drug addict. But what she wanted she got."



Today, Lord Justice Leveson, sitting with Mr Justice Davis and Mr Justice Lloyd Jones, agreed with counsel for the Attorney General that the sentence imposed on 47-year-old Bohannan was "unduly lenient".



Lord Justice Leveson said that Bohannan's offending involved minimal financial award but its very essence was the breach of his public duty in a "cavalier and criminal fashion".



One specific example of interference with police activity itself justified the total term imposed by the trial judge.



"We have taken into account the mitigation, and we recognise as an inevitable consequence of his prior employment the potential difficulties he could be subject to in custody.



"We have also taken into account the legitimate argument that we should hesitate long before departing from the view formed by the trial judge who had conduct of this lengthy hearing.



"But, in our judgment, this sentence was unduly lenient and significantly so.



"Taking into account all the circumstances, we conclude that the very least sentence which could be properly imposed was one of six year imprisonment."