Monday, July 20, 2009

'Cop spent exes in sex shop'

AN anti-terror cop used his Scotland Yard credit card to buy items from a SEX SHOP, a court heard today.

Detective Constable Matthew Washington, 37, wasted thousands of pounds of taxpayers' cash by abusing his expenses for more than a year.

He also bought clothes and holidays on an American Express card issued to him by the Met and "completely disregarded" police rules, it was alleged.

Washington began abusing his corporate Amex almost as soon as he was given it in July 2006, Southwark Crown Court in South London was told.

Prosecutor Stephen Winberg said Washington had used it to "fund holidays, for example to Euro Disney, travel, food shopping and personal expenses".

But officers were only meant to use the card for "travel and subsistence purposes".


Mr Winberg told jurors: "Particularly indicative of this, I am afraid, is the purchase of five items... from a sex shop in Soho.

"The question I pose to you on the Crown's behalf is what part of his job description did Mr Washington at the time - DC Washington as he then was - think he was fulfilling by using the Metropolitan Police Service card in a sex shop in Soho?

"The Crown are not saying there is anything wrong going to a sex shop, but you do not use a card given by your employers for travel and subsistence purposes."

The court heard Washington spent more than £19,200 between July 2006 and September 2007, of which more than £12,500 was unauthorised.

Of that, £7,000 had been withdrawn in cash, while £350 was spent on clothes bought at Next, T M Lewin and Marks & Spencer.

When Washington was first quizzed about his spending, he read out a prepared statement claiming he had been working "very long hours" with little "personal time".

He also said he had been "through an upsetting divorce and his son had had cancer which had weighed heavily on his mind and this had caused him to lose track of his expenses".

Washington, whose address and photo cannot be published for legal reasons, denies misconduct in public office.

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