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Neath policemen caught stealing at fake 'crime scene' in sting by their own colleagues

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: April 17, 2014

By Paul Turner / paul.turner@swwmedia.co.uk / @readmybook

conmstables

Neath policemen Detective sergeant Stephen Phillips, left, and Detective constable Jason Evans (right) who are facing jail after being caught stealing in a sting by their own colleagues.

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TWO senior policemen from Neath are facing jail after being caught stealing in a sting operation at a fake "crime scene" - by their own colleagues.

Det Sgt Stephen Phillips and Det Con Jason Evans were filmed on secret cameras taking cash and biro pens planted in the sting house.

A court heard how Phillips, 45, was caught taking £250 when he was called to a house under criminal investigation - not realising it was a set-up by other police officers.

Evans, 44, was also videoed pocketing two pens while he carried out the investigation using a search warrant at the same time.

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The court heard the officers thought they were investigating a burglary, but were set up as part of "trust exercise" by suspicious police chiefs.

A team of officers including Evans and Phillips were sent to the house which was filled with "evidence" including Viagra, bags, mobile phones, watches and £21,647 of cash.

But Phillips and Evans did not realise the property had been fitted with hidden cameras and covert microphones - and the woman posing as a resident was an undercover detective.

The pair - who are suspended by South Wales Police - were warned they faced custody after admitting theft.

Judge Bodfan Jenkins told them: "There can be few examples of a graver breach of trust.

"This is a gross breach of trust in relation to the force and what the public expect from the police.

"It's not about the cost, it's about the breach of trust and at first blush it appears to me that this is a custody case."

The officers, who are based in Neath, were part of a team investigating organised crime.

The pair were investigated by South Wales Police's corruption unit for theft and misconduct.

Cardiff magistrates court heard how the force decided to carry out an "intelligence led integrity test" on the pair.

They pretended they were asked by Greater Manchester Police to investigate a property allegedly linked to a series of burglaries.

Prosecutor David Roberts said: "Phillips was filmed putting his hand inside a coat pocket and finding £240.

"He removes his hand and leaves the scene - but then returns 20 seconds later when he removes the cash and places it in his pocket."

Phillips also took £10 from a bedside table. But he did not realise all the notes had been marked with invisible ink and the serial numbers recorded.

Evans was filmed going into the bedroom and taking two pens during the raid in March this year.

The pair then drove up the M5 to meet plain clothes officers from Greater Manchester Police at a service station.

While waiting for the meet Phillips spent £60 of the money on a Monopoly-themed gambling machine.

As they drove back to South Wales they were pulled over by a marked police car and arrested by members of their force's Professional Standards department.

The court heard Phillips, of Skewen, Neath, claimed he was going to return the money to the woman who lived at the house.

Evans, of Cilfrew, Neath, admitted stealing the pens while he was interviewed under caution.

The pair both pleaded guilty to theft. They were given unconditional bail while pre-sentence reports are prepared.

Phillips and Evans have 26 and 19 years service to their names respectively, and will face misconduct proceedings in due course according to South Wales Police.

Assistant Chief Constable Richard Lewis said: “Police officers take a vow to serve the public and uphold the law with fairness, integrity and impartiality. Any who fall short of those standards or who abuse their position, will face disciplinary action, the prospect of criminal prosecution and dismissal.

“As soon as the officers were suspected of acting improperly, an investigation, supervised by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, was launched which culminated in the dedicated integrity test and their subsequent arrest and suspension.”

“I want to reassure the public that we take this type of behaviour very seriously and continue to work hard to root out any corrupt officers and staff.”

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13 comments

  • Pitstop790  |  May 02 2014, 12:46PM

    It doesn't matter if it is just two pens. They are in a position of trust and have abused that position. If you have the attitude that it is only a pen then what comes next. You are taking something that does not belong to you - theft pure and simple.

  • Gwyddno  |  April 19 2014, 7:38AM

    'I cant believe a person can be sent to jail for taking two pens.' - karenjones It depends on who you are and whether or not a Tory Minister, in this case Eric Pickles, wants to some grandstanding. "Anderson Fernandes, 22, was warned by a judge at Manchester Magistrates' Court that he may face jail after he admitted stealing two scoops of ice cream. He will be sentenced next week." "Nicolas Robinson, 23, of Borough, south-east London, was jailed for six months for stealing a £3.50 case of water from Lidl supermarket." "Mother-of-two Ursula Nevin, from Manchester, was jailed for five months for receiving a pair of shorts given to her after they had been looted from a city centre store." BBC News http://tinyurl.com/p9jvaco

    |   4
  • karenjones  |  April 19 2014, 6:59AM

    Phillips has to face the consequences for his crime, but I feel that there must be more to the Evans case I cant believe a person can be sent to jail for taking two pens. If this is the case Jails will be full of most of the country's work force surely. Or has he got caught in the bureaucracy and if Phillips was charged for stealing the money he has to be charged with same?

    |   -1
  • twiggy1uk  |  April 18 2014, 10:23AM

    I havent trusted the police for about 7/8 years and this just confirms it that they are all corrupt and bent. I hope they are NOT given suspended sentences or community service. Makes you wonder what else they have stolen while they have been in the police service dosent it.

    |   -1
  • lancelot69  |  April 18 2014, 9:31AM

    I wonder if they will re-open all burglary cases and re-investigate

    |   7
  • CeriCarter  |  April 17 2014, 11:25PM

    They deserve all they get! I wonder how long they have been getting away with it? More importantly, I hope that there are no serious implications for any victims of crime and cases they have been involved with or investigated! Lets hope that the Courts do come down hard on these two and send them to Prison where they deserve to be. Well done to the officers for exposing them...

    |   21
  • mdcurran  |  April 17 2014, 8:27PM

    There wil be a use for them I suppose - writing his appeal letters from jail - where they both belong.

    |   7
  • mikefranky  |  April 17 2014, 8:18PM

    While in prison They better watch they don't bump into guys they put down in the past....

    |   7
  • tomitma  |  April 17 2014, 5:57PM

    Why two biro pens, was he that desperate. I can understand the money but not the pens.

    |   15
  • Dai_Chotomy  |  April 17 2014, 3:49PM

    I would n;t have said that a sergeant and a constable were "senior".

    |   4

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