South West Wales

Detective Gareth Bassett fined after filmed using cocaine

Gareth Bassett
Image caption Bassett has lost his wife, job and £100,000 pension after admitting possessing cocaine

A cocaine-using detective was caught when his mistress captured him on video using the class-A drug.

Det Sgt Gareth Bassett, 45, of Llanelli, was filmed by Caroline Matter, Swansea Crown Court heard.

She then passed the footage to Dyfed-Powys Police's anti-corruption squad.

Bassett lost his Dyfed-Powys police job, £100,000 in pension cash, and was divorced by his wife after admitting possessing cocaine.

Matthew Cobbe, prosecuting, said: "There is an exchange by text where she is reluctant to obtain the drugs but she then relents."

Miss Matter bought £160 worth of cocaine, which Bassett paid for.

"His relationship with her was in difficulty and she filmed him preparing the cocaine for their use. The footage showed him cutting the drug with a card on a plate," Mr Cobbe said.

Bassett blamed his girlfriend and claimed it was "just a legal high".

Image caption Bassett at Swansea Crown on Friday

But Mr Cobbe said: "Hair samples were taken from him and these were sent to a laboratory. Results showed a low level of drug use in the previous four weeks."

James Hartson, defending, said: "He has paid a very high price for an indiscretion. It was a moment of madness.

"He blames nobody but himself and takes full responsibility for his actions.

"He served 25 years in the force and has now lost his career."

The court heard he was sacked, will lose the bulk of a pension lump sum of around £100,000 and would have to live on a substantially reduced pension.

Judge Paul Thomas QC said: "You tried to lie and bluff your way out of the situation, but she did the right thing."

Bassett was fined £400 with £1,200 costs after he admitted possessing a Class A drug.

The judge told him: "You have brought disgrace on yourself and harmed the reputation of your force. Taking the class A drug was a great betrayal."

Matter, 34, previously admitted possession of the drug and was fined by magistrates at an earlier hearing.