Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Court clears 7/7 officer of fraud

Peter Allbut was cleared of fraud by a judge at London's Southwark Crown Court
Peter Allbut was cleared of fraud by a judge at London's Southwark Crown Court

The case against a counter terrorism officer accused of defrauding the Metropolitan Police while investigating the July 7 bombings has collapsed after a judge ruled there was a lack of evidence against him.

Earlier this week, a jury at London's Southwark Crown Court heard how detective sergeant Peter Allbut, 45, was charged with fraudulently paying £9,200 into his personal bank account.

Mr Allbut, from the Metropolitan Police's Counter Terrorism Command, was one of a number of officers deployed to Leeds following the terrorist attacks on London in 2005.

The court was told the officers had been posted in hotels initially but as accommodation costs mounted they were moved to rented accommodation.

Allbut was one of a number of officers entitled to withdraw cash on an American Express card to pay the monthly rent bills for the Leeds accommodation.

Paul Watson QC, prosecuting, had alleged Allbut took advantage of this access and instead deposited sums of money into his own account on three occasions.

He claimed the officer had fraudulently withdrawn £2,200, £4,000 and £3,000 between February and May 2007.

But following the conclusion of the prosecution case, Judge Geoffrey Rivlin QC ruled that there was insufficient evidence against Mr Allbut and directed the jury to return a not guilty verdict, a court spokeswoman said.

Mr Allbut's exoneration comes after another counter terrorism officer was found guilty of defrauding the Metropolitan Police of thousands of pounds in a property scam last month.

Detective Constable Daren Pooley, 41 and his wife Nicola, 37, were convicted of conspiracy to defraud.

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