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Detective on expenses charges; CROWN COURT: Mileage claims for 'bogus' trips challenged.

Byline: COLIN HUGHES

A LEADING detective fiddled his expenses by claiming for bogus trips in his Porsche, a jury was told yesterday.

Acting Detective Chief Inspector Graham David claimed around pounds 1,300 for 71 journeys to meet specialist units around South Wales. But many of the officers had never clapped eyes on him, it was alleged.

David, 49, was also said to have made the mistake of putting down a visit to the Special Branch office at Cardiff International Airport the day Prime Minister Tony Blair paid a visit. "He not only missed the Prime Minister he missed every member of his staff as well, " said Gregg Bull, prosecuting at Swansea Crown Court.

In more than 50 of the 71 bogus claims, he said, the prosecution would prove David was elsewhere.

David was head of South Wales Police's KCID specialist operations made up of Special Branch, drug squad, force surveillance team and intelligence bureau. Every month he claimed mileage for visiting Special Branch units at air and ferry ports, plus the two main drug squad offices at Port Talbot and Cardiff.

"But he was almost unheard of in all these locations, " said Mr Bull. "He never called, or maybe made one or two visits in all the time he was in charge. Not seen, not heard of, not discussed. Not there."

A swipe card record revealed he was in Bridgend when claiming to be miles away. David, of De Clare Close, Porthcawl, should have detailed each trip in his police notebook, for a cross-check. A senior officer challenged David, who promised to post the book, but it never arrived.

David denies 13 charges of false accounting, from February 1999 to May 2000. The case continues.
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Sep 26, 2001
Words:286
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