Assistant at police station stole cash

A POLICE station worker was caught on camera stealing cash which had been seized from a Leeds criminal.

A court heard Kathleen Gowler helped herself to cash which had been taken from suspected offenders while working at Killingbeck police station.

Admin assistant Gowler, 50, had worked at the station for 10 years and was part of a small team responsible for the safe storage of seized cash before bagging it and ensuring it was banked.

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Leeds Crown Court heard Gowler’s offending came to light in August 2012 after a large amount of money was seized from a drug dealer.

Katherine Goddard, prosecuting, said the dealer was subsequently jailed and the sentencing judge made a confiscation order for £1,320 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

When a financial officer went to collect the money it became clear that only £1,270 of the money had been banked. An investigation was launched and the three members of Gowler’s team were immediately placed under suspicion.

A covert camera was placed in the office where they worked and Gowler was seen stealing cash.

Ms Goddard said she was filmed separating five £20 notes while counting cash at her desk before putting it into her handbag.

Gowler, of Tingley Hall Rise, Tingley, was arrested and admitted stealing the cash after being shown the footage.

She pleaded guilty to three offences of theft.

The court heard there was no apparent motive for the offending as her husband has a well paid job and she is not in need of money.

Andrew Stranex, mitigating, said: “It is difficult to seek to explain how she became involved in this.”

Gowler was given a four-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to do 120 hours unpaid work.

The Recorder of Leeds, judge Peter Coillier, QC, said the offence was aggravated by the fact that she had put her colleagues under suspicion.