A DETECTIVE has been jailed for ten months after defrauding a bank and then trying to seize CCTV footage from the branch to cover his tracks.
Stuart Dunlop withdrew £1000 from his account – then walked into a local bank and told the cashier his card had been stolen and the money withdrawn illegally.
After convincing her to put the money back into his account, father-of-three Dunlop then reported his card stolen to a fellow officer.
And fearing he might be caught out, he then returned to the bank and asked for the CCTV – saying it was needed by his colleagues.
At Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday it was revealed that at the time of the offence Dunlop’s marriage was breaking up.
Dunlop, who has been suspended by Lothian and Borders Police, was convicted of attempted fraud, wasting police time and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Police chiefs today said the 33-year-old would be the subject of misconduct proceedings following his jailing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday.
But the shamed officer’s solicitor said Dunlop was likely to quit before being sacked, adding that he had “brought about disastrous consequences for himself and his family”.
Dunlop, who was a detective constable and was believed to have previously served in the Amethyst unit, which investigates sex crimes, was convicted last month after a trial.
The court heard that he had gone into the Royal Bank of Scotland branch in John Street, Penicuik, on February 26, 2010, and told an employee that his bank card had been stolen and £1000 had been fraudulently withdrawn.
Dunlop persuaded the teller to report the theft so that the £1000 could be re-instated into his account, although he had actually withdrawn the money himself. Dunlop then went into Corstorphine police station and reported the card theft to fellow officer Pc Robert Maloney.
Dunlop, who was based in Edinburgh, grew concerned that the RBS branch’s CCTV from February 26 would reveal his fraud and so returned to the branch six days later. He told an employee that he was acting on behalf of Pc Robert Maloney, and required the CCTV recording as he attempted to conceal the evidence.
Sentencing of Dunlop had been deferred until yesterday for reports. His solicitor, David Fletcher, told the court his client had no previous convictions and said: “It’s possible to take the view that the risk of future offending is low.”
The solicitor added that Dunlop’s “marriage was breaking up” at the time of the offence, adding that the officer now lived with his parents.
The solicitor said that Dunlop faced the sack from the force but was likely to “take that decision himself”, adding that the conviction would “restrict” his job options and he was “extremely realistic” about his future prospects.
He told the court that there had been “no financial loss to the bank” and that his client has a “record of public service which is unblemished”.
Sheriff Nigel Morrison QC sentenced Dunlop to three months for the attempted fraud and seven months for attempting to pervert the course of justice. He also imposed a concurrent sentence of two months for wasting police time. The sheriff said the offence was “more serious because you were a serving police officer”, adding that it was a “particularly serious breach of trust” that Dunlop went back to obtain the CCTV footage.
A police spokesman said: “Lothian and Borders Police can confirm that a 33-year-old officer was sentenced to ten months in jail at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.”
Wrong side of the law
A NUMBER of officers with the force have faced criminal prosecution for offences ranging from drug dealing to rape in recent years.
Disgraced Chief Inspector Allison Strachan, then 50, was fined £400 at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in March last year after a probe found that she had breached the Data Protection Act by looking up prohibited information on the police database.
In August 2011, police sergeant Paul Greig, then 51, was jailed for eight years for raping two young girls when he was babysitting them almost four
Former officer Christopher McGinn, then 29, supplied cocaine to friends in his local pub and was jailed for 26 months in October 2009.
In July 2009, Anna Wong, then 26 and a constable, was fined £1000 for illegally looking up information about her friends on police computers.