31st January 2019

In January 2019 Elizabeth Belton, a former Detective Chief Inspector, and her West Yorkshire Police colleague PC Judith Mulligan were sentenced at Leeds Crown Court in connection with a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Belton was sentenced to 2 years in Prison. Mulligan was given a 12 month sentence suspended for 2 years.

Two men tried to break into Mulligan’s home in September 2013 in the Pudsey area of Leeds. No forensic evidence was found. It is reported PC Mulligan first described two teenage suspects wearing dark clothes but Police Officers stopped and arrested two men in their 30s. Mulligan later changed her description stating they were old.

Mulligan and Belton arranged for photographs of the two arrested men to be taken and viewed by Mulligan prior to her attending the identity procedure. Text messages sent by Belton to Mulligan included “you’ve fit him up lol” and “They deserve it. I hate burglars”.

The two suspects were charged with attempted burglary and subsequently jailed for 12 months and 28 months.

Although not specifically reported it appears Mulligan identified the suspects during the identification procedure presumably as a result of the photographs unlawfully shown to her beforehand.

The offence only came to light years later when Belton’s text messages were found during an investigation regarding an unrelated matter.

Blog by Richard Hardy, Partner