An undercover drugs cop became hooked on heroin after posing as an addict in an operation to trap dealers. The PC even handed his drug dealer police issue weapons in his role as a junkie.
Manchester Crown Court heard how the lines between the real life of Pc Robert Carroll and that of his undercover alter ego, 'Lee Taylor' became dangerously blurred as he began to smoke heroin every day.
Carroll joined Greater Manchester Police in 2001. In 2008 he joined the force's Sigma unit - dedicated to rooting out drug dealers using covert tactics.
By 2009, Carroll was using a wrap of heroin a day and was in touch with the drugs charity Lifeline. He was prescribed Subutex and attempted to wean himself off the drug, but by 2012 he had lapsed.
In July 2012, drug dealer Jermaine White's home was raided by officers who found a police issue CS gas canister and a baton which had been issued to Carroll.
At the time Carroll was working at Oldham police station on 'restricted duties' after time off with depression. But twice in one morning he sneaked off his shift at the station to meet White, raising bosses' suspicions.
A raid at Carroll's home days later recovered a phone which revealed he had contacted White 2,200 times in the previous four months.
The former officer, who was sacked by the Chief Constable earlier this year, claimed he 'inhaled fumes' from the class A drug while in the undercover role and that Greater Manchester Police 'failed' him by not protecting him from the risk of addiction or supporting him through his problems.
Carroll, who lives in Huddersfield, says he has now beaten his addiction - with the help of his police officer wife, who took charge of his money and booked hypnotherapy sessions. When he was sacked by Sir Peter Fahy earlier this year, the Chief Constable described it as an 'enormous tragedy' for a 'very hardworking officer' and his family, the court heard.
In a statement to the Manchester Evening News Mr Carroll said he 'simply needed help' - and got 'no support from the force'.
Pc Carroll, 40, was jailed for 14 months after admitting charges of misconduct in public office.
Judge Martin Steiger QC said: "I fully recognise that the defendant became addicted through his police service and he's to be commended on the efforts he made in the interests of law and order.
"But where police officers suffer because of their duties it is incumbent upon them to obtain treatment and help. He did not do so - he did the very opposite - he continued his association with White. A significant sentence is called for to demonstrate the high standards the public expect from police."
Assistant Chief Constable Dawn Copley said: "Whatever personal mitigation Carroll may have, it is not an excuse for such a wanton abuse of his position as a police officer.
"When someone becomes a police officer, they take an oath to protect the public and quite clearly, Carroll failed in that public duty. Carroll’s drug addiction significantly clouded his judgement, so much so that he passed a prohibited weapon to a drug dealer in exchange for drugs.
“He also seriously neglected his duties as a police officer leaving the station while on duty and the force area so he could attempt to buy drugs from Jermaine White.“
Jermaine White, 25, of Douglas Avenue, Huddersfield, will be sentenced next Friday for drug offences.
Feb 07, 2014 By Chris Osuh
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