A former Metropolitan Police sergeant has been convicted of theft offences.
Graeme Williams, 66, of Morpeth Avenue, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, was found guilty on 3 December 2019 of three counts of theft by employee following a trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court.
He is due to be sentenced at the same court on 7 January 2020.
The court heard that Williams had served 26 years within the Metropolitan Police Service.
He retired as a sergeant in Hackney borough in September 2013, now part of the Central East Command Unit. Part of his role had been to act as the point of contact for sudden deaths that were ruled to be non-suspicious, meaning that no criminal investigation was to take place.
After his retirement, he was asked to continue the same role as a police volunteer in May 2014.
The role allowed Williams to have full control over all cash and property recovered from the homes of deceased persons. He was tasked with cataloguing it and keeping it safe until an heir could be identified, and the money and property returned to the rightful estate.
The court heard that Williams stole more than £11,000 from the estates of three people from July 2012 to June 2015.
Detective Constable Matt Wigg, of Specialist Crime, led the investigation. He said: “It beggars belief that someone who was trusted both as a police officer and a volunteer should behave so disgracefully. To steal from the dead is shameful and we have been horrified to discover that families who had already been bereaved have suddenly been made to suffer further because of Williams’s actions.
“I would like to thank all of the families who have supported our investigation – and my team who have worked so hard to bring Williams to justice.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Marcus Barnett, BCU Commander for Hackney and Tower Hamlets, said: “I have been appalled to learn that Williams, tasked with such a sensitive role, took advantage of the trust placed in him and abused it for his own financial gain. My dismay is shared by the many officers and staff who worked with him over the years and are equally aghast that he could have been so deceitful.
“I expect each and every one of my officers and staff to conduct themselves with the utmost integrity at all times. Our professional standards are exceptionally high and instances like this within the Metropolitan police are very rare. Of course, Williams’s actions have fallen far, far below that which I would expect from any member of the police service.
“I would like to offer my sincerest apologies on behalf of the Metropolitan Police Service to the families affected in this case. It is disgraceful they have suffered further distress at a time when they were mourning their loved ones. I am truly sorry.”
Following today’s verdict, the case will be considered by the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards.