Constable 'stole' £75 handed in to Surrey Police

A Surrey Police officer pocketed £75 handed in by a member of the public who found it near Hampton Court Palace, a court heard.

Pc Julian Lovegrove, 33, was given the cash outside Esher police station in October 2009 but did not register it, Winchester Crown Court was told.

When the finder, Gustavo Reimann, went to find out if anyone had claimed it, the incident could not be traced.

Mr Lovegrove, of Petersfield Road, Whitehill, Hampshire, denies theft.

The court was told Mr Reimann found three £20 notes, one £10 and one £5 at a petrol station and gave it to Mr Lovegrove, who wrote the denominations in his notebook.

After Mr Reimann asked on 9 December whether anyone had claimed the money and whether he could have it, an e-mail went out to police officers.

Behind mirror

Mr Lovegrove contacted his sergeant, Adam Luck, on 13 December to say he had forgotten about the money and it was in his locker.

Mr Luck searched the locker but could not find the cash.

It was later found behind a mirror but made up of two £20 notes, three £10 and one £5.

Mr Lovegrove was arrested and told officers he had taken part in a high-risk incident on the day the cash was given to him and had forgotten about it.

But Unyime Daves, prosecuting, told the jury the cash was handed to him on either 17 or 18 October and not 23 October, the day of the high-risk incident.

"There is no doubt that the proper way to deal with the money was to sign it into the property register and Pc Lovegrove did not do this," said Ms Davies.

"He said he had simply forgotten about it."

The trial continues.

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