Senior detective and Leeds police constables in court accused of perverting justice

A senior West Yorkshire detective has appeared in court alongside two constables accused of conspiring to pervert the course of justice in relation to an investigation.

Detective Chief Inspector Elizabeth Belton.

Detective Chief Inspector Elizabeth Belton is also accused of seven offences of breaching data laws over allegations that she misused police computers to obtain information.

Belton, 48, and PCs Judith Mulligan, 46, and Mohammed Gother, 51, are all accused of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The Yorkshire Evening Post understands the allegations relate to an investigation into an offence of attempted burglary at Mulligan’s home in 2013, in which it is claimed that Mulligan was shown a photograph of suspects ahead of an identification procedure.

The conspiracy charge against Belton states: “Between September 26, 2013, and September 30, 2013, in Leeds or elsewhere, you did conspire together with Judith Mulligan and Mohammed Gother, to do an act or acts which had the tendency to pervert the course of public justice, in that photographs of suspects in an alleged attempted burglary were supplied to the witness Judith Mulligan prior to the commencement of identification procedures with the intention of perverting the course of public justice.”

Belton also faces seven charges of obtaining or disclosing personal data between September 2014 and May 2015.

The charges relate to her “knowingly or recklessly” obtaining personal data in relation to four named individuals.

Prosecutor Mark Auty said the offences relate to misuse of information and misuse of pictures of people in custody.

No pleas were entered by any of the defendants in relation to any of the charges.

All three spoke only to confirm their names and dates of birth when they appeared at Leeds Magistrates’ CourtJ

The case was committed to Leeds Crown Court, where all three will have to appear on August 19 for the next hearing.

All three were granted unconditional bail.

Prior to the committal hearing, district Judge Sandra Knapton heard applications from lawyers representing Belton and Mulligan.

Members of the public were excluded from that part of the hearing in which it was argued that the reporting of Belton’s address and Mulligan’s name and address should be prohibited.

District Judge Knapton rejected the applications, stating that publication was in the interest of “open justice”.

Belton, one of the force’s most senior investigators, is currently suspended from duty.

She is part of West Yorkshire Police’s Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, the unit responsible for investigating some of the region’s most high profile cases.

Prior to being arrested, Belton was leading the new enquiry into the historic murder of Wakefield teenager Elsie Frost in 1965.