Former detective jailed for passing on police information to suspect

A former detective at West Midlands Police has been jailed for 28 months after he admitted leaking restricted information to suspected criminals.

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Daniel Watts and Stephen Hunt (L-R)

Dc Daniel Watts made illicit searches on a police computer and passed it on to a suspect wanted by the police – Watts’ school friend 33-year-old Stephen Hunt.

Hunt was also sentenced to 28 months imprisonment after he was found guilty by jury of conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office.

Watts was sacked on August 29 last year for gross misconduct after he admitted passing details of police intelligence on, including whether the force was planning to arrest criminal associates or carry out raids.

Watts had worked for West Midlands Police for 11 years and served with Force CID at the Lloyd House HQ, Colmore Circus. He was arrested on October 30 last year, following a police inquiry relating to ‘alleged leaking of restricted information’.

A court heard that Watts first made checks for Hunt in April 2005 whilst Hunt was on trial for drug supply, but continued up until his own arrest in October 2012.

Watts, 31, of Chester Road, Erdington, admitted conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office and at Stafford Crown Court on October 18 was jailed for 28 months. Hunt, of Edge Hill Road, West Heath, denied the same offence but was found guilty following a trial.

He was also sent to prison for 28 months and handed an additional 10 years behind bars for drug dealing.

A crown court judge had placed reporting restrictions on the misconduct case but they were lifted yesterday as Hunt’s drugs trial concluded at Wolverhampton Crown Court.

Sentencing Watts and Hunt, Recorder Stephen Thomas said information leaked by the officer would have ‘certainly been capable of having an impact on a criminal investigation’.

Supt Tim Godwin from West Midlands Police’s Professional Standards Department said the force demanded the upmost integrity and professionalism from all its officers and staff.

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

“No police officer is above the law. Daniel Watts was a rogue officer who believed he could discretely pass information to a friend in the criminal fraternity – but we have a dedicated team of anti-corruption officers whose job is to uncover any misconduct.

“As soon as Watts’ was suspected of acting improperly an investigation was launched that resulted in his arrested and suspension from duty. He was subsequently sacked by the Chief Constable at an internal hearing, following his guilty plea in court, and has now been jailed.

“His police career is over and he faces the prospect of having his police pension seized; he’s rightly paid a very high price for these breaches of trust and position.”