23 years for Castleford cop in £600k drug plot: Hear the incriminating evidence

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A CORRUPT Yorkshire detective who stole enormous amounts of seized drugs and conspired to sell them back on to the streets with his brother, making them at least £600,000, was today jailed for 23 years.

West Yorkshire Police Detective Constable Nicholas McFadden, 38, helped himself to more than £1 million of heroin, cocaine and cannabis by exploiting “slack” procedures while working at secret evidence stores.

Nicholas McFadden. Below: Wife Clair and part of the secret stash of banknotes

Nicholas McFadden. Below: Wife Clair and part of the secret stash of banknotes

He and his brother, Simon McFadden, 41, who was today jailed for 16 years, conspired to sell the drugs back to underworld contacts.

A judge sentencing the duo at Leeds Crown Court said both were motivated by one factor - an “insatiable greed” that made them “so much money that they simply didn’t know how to spend it”, but ultimately led to their downfall.

The brothers lived a champagne lifestyle, splashing out on exotic holidays, designer clothing, expensive jewellery, pricey artwork, home improvements and private number plates for their cars, jurors in the five-week trial heard.

Simon McFadden also indulged his love of expensive sausages, which he and his wife Karen, 41, an NHS medical secretary, washed down with gallons of champagne.

The stash of banknotes

The stash of banknotes

When police raided Nicholas McFadden’s family home in Castleford, West Yorkshire, they found almost £160,000 in banknotes stuffed into sacks in his garage and £20,000 hidden around his house. They also discovered £6,000 in his performance car.

On his arrest, Nicholas McFadden had £430,000 which could not be traced to legitimate sources.

Simon McFadden had £160,000 which could not be accounted for and claimed it was casino winnings. He had, in reality, lost £8,000 at the casino in the period in question.

Karen McFadden, who lived with Simon in Harehills, Leeds, was spared an immediate jail term for the sake of her teenage son after admitting money laundering.

Clair McFadden, wife of  corrupt detective constable Nicholas McFadden, arriving at court. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

Clair McFadden, wife of corrupt detective constable Nicholas McFadden, arriving at court. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

She was given a 12-month sentence suspended for two years after the court heard she revelled in their new-found wealth but did not know how her husband was making the money, of which she spent £11,000 at upmarket department store Harvey Nichols.

The detective was caught after regularly paying cash into ATMs, which triggered a bank’s security alert and police were informed. When he was arrested, he told police he found bags of cash in a ditch by the M62 and later claimed he made it selling illegal steroids.

Judge Tom Bayliss said: “The two of you were putting back on the streets drugs which successful police operations had taken off the streets. And in doing so you became very rich.”

However, he added: “The effect on all of you is devastating. For a brief period, crime paid for your extravagances - but now you have a lifetime to regret it.”

He told Nicholas McFadden, who joined the force in 2000 and siphoned off drugs being held as evidence when he worked for a special organised crime group: “In the course of your duties you had access to controlled drugs, and you abused your position to steal and trade in those drugs.

“Drugs that were taken off the street by your colleagues were put back on the street by you and your brother, Simon. Drugs like heroin - noted for the misery that it brings to those who have the misfortune to be addicted to it and for the crime that is caused by those desperate wretches to get their hands on the money to buy it.

“Your motive was simple - greed.

“By your actions, Nicholas McFadden, you have brought yourself down from a position commanding respect to the life of a vulnerable prisoner with no prospect other than financial ruin upon your release.”

Turning to the disgraced detective’s brother, Judge Bayliss said: “You, Simon McFadden, are a hard-working man reduced to criminality by greed.”

Judge Bayliss criticised the West Yorkshire Police security measures in place at the time, saying they “were not operated as robustly as one would expect” at the secret evidence stores, which housed guns, massive amounts of drugs and other contraband.

“The system seems to have relied to a large extent upon the integrity of those operating it and, as a consequence, it was open to abuse.

“Nicholas McFadden, you took advantage of that weakness. You exploited shortcomings and exploited individuals to steal.”