A DRUG smoking policeman has been jailed for 15 months for stealing cannabis stored in his own station for evidence.
Timothy Moorhouse (37), a Lincolnshire police constable for 14 years, gained a taste for the illicit drug while on holiday in Amsterdam.
Lincoln Crown Court heard Moorhouse used the drug to relieve stress as his marriage had broken down and he had debts totalling £40,000.
On his return from Amsterdam, Moorhouse felt he could not buy the drug in pubs or on the street and instead dipped into cannabis seized from suspects and held as evidence in the storeroom at Boston Police Station.
Over five months he removed small amounts of cannabis from evidence bags before returning the bags to the store.
Judge Michael Heath told him: “You abused your position as a police officer. You were trusted by your colleagues and trusted by the public.
“It is only by good fortune that no cases have been jeopardised by your actions.
“These offences are so serious that the only sentences I can justify are custodial sentences. A police officer cannot steal from exhibits containing unlawful drugs and expect to keep his liberty.”
Moorhouse, of Bluebell Walk, Boston, admitted nine charges of theft between September 29 last year and January 14 this year. He also admitted one charge of possessing the drug.
He first appeared before Spalding Magistrates’ Court and was sent to the higher court for sentence.
Sheryl Loughney, prosecuting, said a civilian worker noticed two evidence bags had been tampered with and reported the matter to senior officers.
Moorhouse became a suspect because of his frequent visits to the property store. Anti-corruption officers placed dummy evidence bags inside the store and Moorhouse was filmed on CCTV.
Moorhouse, who worked in the station’s immigration enforcement team, was arrested when a small amount of cannabis was found at his home.
He resigned from the force and retrained as a lorry driver.
Gareth Weetman, mitigating, said: “Fourteen years of good service with the police have been shattered by these utterly inexplicable actions. He is an individual who, by his own actions and stupidity, has destroyed everything in his life.”