Accused detective ‘took cannabis out of store’

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A detective accused of stealing drugs from police seizures, arranged to take some cannabis resin from a secure evidence store, saying he needed to replace bags that had split, a jury heard yesterday.

Paul Stanton, a property clerk at the Organised Crime Group’s premises where Detective Nicholas McFadden was based in 2010, said he helped the officer move the cannabis on a trolley to a locker room because he trusted him.

He told Leeds Crown Court he had heard the detective say to a colleague in the property office about a week earlier what he intended to do.

The cannabis, seized as part of an Operation known as Grey Abbey, was in the secure store from December 30, 2009 before permission for destruction was given to DC McFadden on October 27, 2010 by Detective Inspector Warren Stevenson.

Mr Stanton said DC McFadden said he needed to re-exhibit some of the bags and had mentioned before that some had split. “At that stage I helped him to take the items out,” he added.

“Did you accept what you were told by Mr McFadden about the purpose of this activity?” asked Paul Greaney, QC, prosecuting.

“Of course, he is a serving officer I had no reason to distrust him at all,” said Mr Stanton.

They loaded the cannabis onto a trolley and moved it to the locker room where the detective said he would deal with it later. The prosecution claim McFadden used the opportunity to steal some before the cannabis went for destruction.

McFadden, 38 of Pasture Drive, Castleford, denies four charges of stealing drugs and four of conspiring to supply them. His brother Simon, 41, of Darfield Place, Harehills, Leeds, denies the four conspiracy charges and one of money laundering.

The trial continues on Monday.