Wife of accused detective ‘never
cancer patient’

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The wife of a “corrupt” detective alleged to have made thousands of pounds from drugs stolen from secure police custody has told a jury she has never had cancer.

Nicholas McFadden is said to have told fellow officers in West Yorkshire Police’s Organised Crime Group that his extra spending in 2011 was due to a critical illness payment of around £100,000 after she was given such a diagnosis, Leeds Crown Court heard.

Giving evidence yesterday, Clair McFadden was asked by Paul Greaney QC prosecuting: “Have you ever been diagnosed with any illness that might be regarded as life-threatening such as cancer?”

“No,” she replied, also telling the jury she had never received a critical illness payment.

Nicholas McFadden, 37, recently of Church Avenue, Leeds, denies four charges of stealing drugs and four charges of conspiring to supply them. He has admitted one of money laundering.

His brother Simon, 41, of Darfield Place, Harehills, Leeds, denies four charges of conspiracy to supply drugs and one of money laundering.

The prosecution claim the pair made at least £600,000 from drugs the detective constable stole from police seizures and then plotting to put them back onto the streets.

Mrs McFadden said she met her husband in 2006 during a night out and he impressed her with his extravagance when he sent her a bouquet of flowers at the school where she worked and subsequently champagne.

They eventually lived together at his home in Ossett, near Wakefield, before moving into her house in Pasture Drive, Castleford, after they had their daughter and let out the house in Ossett.

He proposed to her during a Valentines trip to Paris and they married in 2010.

She told the jury her husband had never been particularly good at minding his finances – when she first knew him he would spend heavily for the first two weeks after pay day and have little left for the second two weeks.

They had a joint account into which he would pay a certain amount from his wages, as well as their own accounts.

When he began to pay for more household items she questioned how he had more money and her husband told her he had been doing lots of overtime for double pay, a pension had matured and he had remortgaged his previous house in Ossett.

He arranged for work to be done on their home in Castleford, telling her he had got it cheaper through mates. At one point he gave her £8,000 in cash to spend on her and their daughter and because she trusted him she did not query it.

Under cross-examination by Peter Moulson, QC, defending Simon McFadden, she said she accepted the explanations she was given because “he was my husband and a police officer”.

Detective Constable Tanya Strangeway told the jury she was previously engaged to Nicholas McFadden and had lived with him for a time prior to their relationship ending in 2006.

They remained in contact and in 2011 they became close again. She told the jury that in June or July he told her he had something for her and turned up with £10,000 giftwrapped. It was in bundles of £20 and £10 notes.

She said she was shocked. He told her he had sold his house in Ossett and she assumed it came from that and he was paying her off for the time she had spent there.

She claimed the relationship had become intimate again and he also bought her a car and pushed further cash through her letterbox.

It was when she was to go through vetting procedures at work and told to declare gifts that she spoke to a senior officer. Anti-corruption officers were already investigating McFadden.

Alistair MacDonald, QC, defending the officer, put it to her the relationship had not become sexual again. “It did,” she replied.

The trial continues.