Orpington police officer jailed for helping crime ring
PUBLISHED: 11:57 24 March 2011
A prisoner who ran a criminal empire from his cell, dealing in drugs and ringing luxury cars was jailed for 12 years yesterday.
Robert Talbot, 33, of no fixed abode, was jailed at Southwark Crown Court, together with former Wandsworth prison officer Ian Cooper, 35, who received a five and a half year sentence.
The former prison officer provided Talbot with mobile phones and helped him smuggle drugs into prison, sometimes hidden in cartons of orange juice. Cooper then persuaded his partner - police constable Hayley Cloud, 28, from Orpington - to carry out checks on vehicles he could ring. She was jailed for two years last June.
In the same case, former police constable Natalie Ricketts, 28, was given a ten month suspended sentence after authorizing the release of a seized Lamborghini from a police car pound. She also stole police radios from Bexleyheath Police Station and passed them to the groups to use.
Acting Commander of the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards Carl Bussey, said: “There is no place for the likes of Ricketts or Cloud in our organisation and they no longer work for the Metropolitan Police Service.
“This has been a significant and complex investigation.
“Be assured, the Directorate of Professional Standards works to ensure the small number of officers and staff who do not meet the very highest standards of professionalism and integrity expected are identified and dealt with so that Londoners can have confidence in their police service.”
Thomas King, 27, of Sutton at Hone, Kent, was jailed for four years for being a ‘runner’ after handling the cars stolen from driveways across south London and the Home Counties, and then cloning them. Talbot would obtain logbooks from identical vehicles to those stolen, allowing the vehicle to receive a cloned identity before being sold on.
A police search of King’s home revealed a package containing heroin, cocaine and cannabis worth a total of £22,000. The package was believed to be headed for the prison system.
Stephen Palmer, 28, of Temple Road, Croydon, received a 12 month sentence after pleading guilty to encouraging or assisting an offender.