Wakefield policeman sacked over evidence 'collusion' in collapsed theft trial

A West Yorkshire Police constable has been sacked after "collusion" with another officer over evidence given in court resulted in the collapse of a trial.

A case collapsed at Wakefield Magistrates Court in 2016 over concerns about evidence provided by two police officers, one of whom has now been sacked.

PC Abubakar Saddique was one of two officers who arrested a man, on suspicion of theft, in November 2015 at an address in South Elmsall, between Wakefield and Doncaster.

The man was later charged and put on trial in February 2016 but Wakefield Magistrates Court dismissed the case against the man, following allegations of collusion during the court proceedings against PC Saddique and one other officer.

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An adverse judicial finding was made against West Yorkshire Police following the collapse of the trial and the matter was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission in July 2016. The IPCC investigation looked into the preparation of statements, allegations of collusion between officers, and whether two officers provided false evidence, while under oath, during a criminal trial.

A file of evidence was submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service in February this year, but the CPS said there was "insufficient evidence" to charge the officers with the offences of attempting to pervert the course of justice, perjury or misconduct in public office.

The final IPCC report was shared with West Yorkshire Police in September and led to a misconduct hearing against both officers this week. It was alleged that PC Saddique had submitted a witness statement that had been "extensively copied" from the statement of the other officer in the case.

The case to answer for gross misconduct for PC Saddique was found proven by the panel and he was dismissed without notice. But the case against the other officer, who has not been named by the IPCC, was found not proven.

IPCC Operations Manager Ian Tolan said: “This was a serious matter in which the police officers’ actions resulted in the dismissal of criminal court proceedings.

"Our investigation looked carefully at the evidence the officers provided to the court and their testimony; finding little doubt that there was some level of collusion given the similarities in their statements, which included the same errors.

"The officers have been held to account, as a result of our investigation, which highlights the importance of officers ensuring their statements meet the levels of honesty and integrity the public expects.”