Police sergeant who helped crack murder of children’s author Helen Bailey is jailed for stealing more than £9,000 which was being held by the force as evidence in a separate case
- Detective Sergeant David Sharpe, 40, has been jailed for 20 months for theft
- £9,080 went missing from a safe within the Major Crime Unit earlier this year
- Cash had been seized by police during two murder investigations and put in safe
- DS Sharpe, 40, was awarded a commendation for work on Helen Bailey murder
Detective Sergeant David Sharpe, pictured outside court where he was jailed for 20 months after admitting theft
A police sergeant who was commended for his work in the investigation into the murder of a children’s author has today been jailed for 20 months.
Detective Sergeant David Sharpe stole more than £9,000 which had been seized by police during two separate murder investigations and placed in a safe.
His actions were used by the defence in one trial ‘to undermine the police and the investigation’, and the accused were subsequently acquitted of murder.
The 40-year-old was awarded a commendation for his detective work which helped solve the murder of author Helen Bailey, who was drugged and smothered to death by her partner who then dumped her body in a cesspit outside their home.
Sharpe was convicted at Cambridge Crown Court today of two counts of theft by employee.
Sharpe worked with the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit at Hertfordshire Constabulary HQ.
He investigated the disappearance and murder of Helen Bailey who was reported missing in April 2016.
Helen Bailey, who was drugged and smothered to death by her partner Ian Steward (pictured together). DS Sharpe was commended for ‘demonstrating the very highest standards of detective work’ when working on the murder case
Three months later her remains were found in her home in Royston, Hertfordshire. Her partner Ian Steward was convicted of murder and jailed for life.
DS Sharpe was later commended for ‘demonstrating the very highest standards of detective work.’
On 18 March this year, it was discovered that £9,080, was missing from exhibits storage in the Major Crime Unit.
DS Sharpe was voluntarily interviewed later that day by the Professional Standards Department and said that he had made a snap decision to take the money, and that he was planning to pay it back before anyone had noticed it was missing.
He was suspended from his post while an investigation was launched. As well as his sentence, he also received a confiscation order to pay back £8,961.09 of the stolen money.
Deputy Chief Constable Jackie Sebire said: ‘As a police officer, DS Sharpe was entrusted to complete his job with the upmost professionalism and integrity. His actions go against everything policing stands for.
‘Although he eventually admitted to taking the money, there were a few days in which he kept quiet, which put his colleagues under unfair suspicion.
‘We work hard to maintain trust and confidence among our communities and when that trust is broken by one individual, it makes all of our jobs a lot more difficult.
‘I am deeply disappointed in him and his actions. This sentence should send a clear message as to how seriously we take these matters.’