A judge has slammed police for incompetence that ”really takes the biscuit” after ”forgetting” to bring a self-confessed thief to court for FOUR YEARS.
Nicholas Greenhood, 32, was arrested in 2006 for stealing £160,000 of electrical goods from his workplace to fund his drug addiction.
But despite making a full confession four years ago, he heard nothing from police until they arrested him at his home in Milton Keynes, Bucks., in January this year.
Bungling officials from Northamptonshire Police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had failed to issue the summons to bring the case to court.
Greenhood was living at his registered address paying tax and National Insurance, and was never ”on the run”, Northampton Crown Court heard.
District Judge Richard Bray, sentencing Greenhood to 14 months imprisonment, slammed police and CPS handling of the case as a ”disgrace”.
He said: ”All this took place in 2006, what on earth’s been going on for the past four years?
”I’m quite used to incompetence but this really takes the biscuit. I don’t take this in a light-hearted spirit, this is a disgrace.
”Nothing surprises me now about the lapses and incompetence of prosecutions.
”I bear in mind you were arrested for these offences in 2006 and the police, having arrested you, released you on bail, then they, or the CPS, forgot to issue a summons against you.
”And all this time you have been living in Milton Keynes.
”There has to be a custodial sentence, This was a serious breach of trust. It would send quite the wrong message if I was not to impose such a sentence.”
Greenhood, of Emerson Valley, Milton Keynes, Bucks., pleaded guilty to theft between October 2005 and March 2006.
He admitted arranging for bogus deliveries of satellite navigation systems and iPods to be made to his girlfriend’s home.
The court heard he stole from his employers at Ingram Micros in Daventry, Northants., to fund his addiction to cocaine and amphetamines.
He had initially answered delayed charge bail, was re-bailed and then told not to return to the police station until he was summonsed.
Piers Reed, mitigating, said Greenhood had stolen the goods to fund his addiction to amphetamine and cocaine but had not offended in the intervening years.
He added: ”He was never on the run. He thought it had all gone away until he was arrested in January.”