South Wales Police detective jailed for £30k theft

Published
Image source, Wales News Service
Image caption,
Justin Lott has been jailed for 16 months

A detective has been jailed for 16 months for stealing £30,000 from his force's sports clubs including from a dead colleague's memorial fund.

Det Con Justin Lott, 40, stole the cash from South Wales Police's athletics and triathlon clubs where he was treasurer.

Lott, from Bridgend, admitted three counts of theft at a hearing in June. He was sentenced at Newport Crown Court on Thursday.

The widow of the officer who set up the fund said they had been "betrayed".

Sentencing Lott, Judge Jeremy Jenkins said: "To take money destined for charity was a despicable act, made even more so by the person responsible being a serving police officer and entrusted treasurer."

After the hearing, Supt Esyr Jones said the jail term was a "reflection of the gravity of Justin Lott's actions".

He said Lott had been a treasurer for both clubs where he was supposed to donate some money to a charitable fund set up by the family of PC Mike Evans prior to his death last year.

Image source, South Wales Police
Image caption,
Justin Lott stole the cash from South Wales Police's athletics and triathlon clubs

In a statement issued by the force, PC Evans's wife Louise Evans said she found out the donations had not been paid to a fund for Cardiff's Velindre Cancer Centre about six weeks prior to his death.

"We decided not to tell Mike as, at this time, he was gravely ill and to have told him would have devastated him," she said.

"This has affected Mike's legacy and what we were working towards. I feel betrayed, let down and humiliated."

Lott admitted stealing three amounts of money on separate occasions totalling £9,280, £10,929 and £10,542 between February 2012 and April 2016, along with a TV and laptop.

He resigned prior to being dismissed from the force and is barred from serving as a police officer.

Jonathan Rees, defending, said Lott had built up personal debts of £326,000 and had suffered from depression for several years.

He said: "His intent was to make good the money he had taken but, as his health and finances worsened, it got out of control and he was never in a position to refund what was taken".

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