Detective Daniel Withnell jailed over escort's bribe

Daniel Withnell
Image caption The judge called Withnell's plan 'fanciful'.

A detective who agreed to take a bribe from an escort to frame her ex-boyfriend has been jailed for four years.

Daniel Withnell, 31, offered to put a gun and drugs in the man's car in return for the £19,000 payment.

Withnell, of Cranark Close, Heaton, Bolton admitted misconduct in a public office and perverting the course of justice at Manchester Crown Court.

Assistant Chief Constable Dawn Copley said she was "appalled" by his actions.

The court heard escort girl Claire Smethurst, 48, later backed out of the arrangement with the detective and told another police officer.

Smethurst admitted perverting the course of justice and was given a 15-month sentence suspended for two years in October.

'Vacant, withdrawn, illogical'

Judge Michael Henshall said it was "fanciful" to think that Withnell, who has been dismissed from the force, could have achieved his plan.

He also accepted that Withnell had no intention of carrying it out but could not resist the money.

The court had been told that Withnell was heavily in debt due to failed business ventures.

Giving evidence, Withnell's father had said the 31-year-old had become "vacant, withdrawn and illogical".

Tony Lloyd, Police and Crime Commissioner for Greater Manchester, said Withnell's conviction "sends an important message that police officers behaving in a criminal way will be brought to book".

"That is what the public rightly expects and today's sentencing has delivered that."

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