Policeman 'received pounds 1,000 drugs wage'

A METROPOLITAN policeman was receiving pounds 1,000 a week from a woman who was selling crack for him from her council house, a court was told yesterday.

The policeman, based at Stoke Newington, was named only as Officer X. He was said to have used Pearl Cameron to sell drugs under the cover of being his informer.

Robin Grey, QC, for Cameron, told Snaresbrook Crown Court that Officer X had since been arrested and charged with fraud offences. The allegations about Officer X were made by Mr Grey during mitigation on behalf of Cameron, 38, a mother of six, of Sandringham Road, Stoke Newington, north-east London.

Cameron, who had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to conspiracy to supply crack and not guilty to possession, was sentenced to five years' imprisonment. Judge Geoffrey Grigson reduced the sentence because the disclosure of her relationship with Officer X had 'advanced the investigation into a corrupt police officer'. The judge said this did not mean he was making a finding of fact on her allegations.

Her son Marlon, 20, who had earlier been found guilty of supply and possession, was placed on two years' youth custody. The judge also made an order for Cameron to forfeit assets of pounds 9,000 against pounds 70,000 she made drug-dealing.

The court was told that she had been arrested in January last year following a three-month police surveillance operation on her house. An average of 70 callers a day were logged, all believed to have been intent upon purchasing 'rocks' of crack at pounds 25 each.

Cameron had confessed about her relationship with Officer X to a prison officer at Holloway prison while awaiting trial. She had believed the raid had been at his instigation because she no longer wanted to deal for him.

Mr Grey said police had already been investigating Officer X. He said Cameron was first arrested by Officer X in August 1989 but not cautioned until April 1990. Later in the year she was contacted by the officer. 'He requested her to sell crack for him and said that he would provide her with back-up . . . she was very often paying the officer pounds 1,000-a-week for his crack, and on one occasion pounds 2,000.'

The court was told that since the police inquiry had begun, eight officers from Stoke Newington had been transferred, and two other cases had been halted. Two officers had been suspended and 13 complaints lodged involving at least 27 officers. The investigation, codenamed Operation Jackpot, is said to be the biggest into police corruption for 20 years.