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PC Dean Burnett admits stealing cash and drugs

Dean BurnettBurnett had been stealing drugs and cash seized in police operations

A police officer who stole drugs and £205,000 in cash from an evidence store has been cleared of supplying cocaine to prostitutes.

Dean Burnett, 43, admitted stealing the items while working as a constable at Govan police station between 1 August 2010 and 25 January last year

He was cleared by a majority not proven verdict of supplying cocaine between January 2011 and January last year.

Sentence on Burnett, who is on remand, was deferred.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard that gambling addict Burnett was stealing narcotics and cash entrusted to him in the production room at Glasgow’s Govan police station after it was seized by colleagues.

The university law graduate took drugs that were earmarked for destruction and stole money linked to 98 separate cases.

Cannabis conviction

When he was caught, only £1,900 of the £205,279 he stole was recovered.

During the trial, the Crown accepted Burnett’s guilty plea to stealing cash, cocaine, cannabis, heroin and other powders he believed to be drugs from the police station.

Burnett was cleared of supplying cocaine to escort girls and also found not guilty of being concerned in the supply of diazepam and offering to supply heroin.

He was convicted of being concerned in the supply of cannabis to two women, but the Crown did not move for sentence on the charge.

Burnett told the court that his troubles began after he had previously been the subject of a false allegation which resulted in him being locked up for five days.

He agreed that in due course he was exonerated, but said it had resulted in his suspension for a period and he had taken it “very badly”.

He also said a story had been made up that he had staged “a dirty protest”.

Burnett said the case against him had come to an end but he had been “dragged through” court for it three times.

He said he had been told to look himself up on a Crown Office computer system and found that all his details came up.

It said the case was live and he was on bail for assault.

Burnett said everybody in the police had been looking at it and at that point he had “just had enough”.

Submachine gun

He said he went into the production room and took out a submachine gun and magazine and said he felt like heading for the senior management area, but did not.

The former police officer said he went to another cabinet and took out a shotgun and rifle and considered killing himself.

Instead, he said he went to a safe and took a handful of money from a bag of cash that should have been banked.

He said he drove to a bookmakers and “sat there until every penny was gone”.

Burnett, who joined the police in 1995, claimed he had first contacted an escort agency to book a woman because he needed someone to talk to.

He told the court that he had never taken cocaine at the time and claimed she had introduced him to the drug.

The former policeman said he went on to steal cocaine and cannabis from his work, maintaining that he would take small amounts at a time.

He said he also took a small amount of heroin but the reason was to have enough on him to kill himself.

The court heard, however, that former escorts had told detectives how they would visit Burnett’s home in Partick, Glasgow, where drugs would be on offer.

Following his acquittal on the drug supply charges, temporary judge Sean Murphy QC called for a background report on the first offender and a psychiatric assessment ahead of sentencing later this month.