Police officer guilty of passing information to convicted drugs dealer

A Sunderland police officer is facing a prison sentence after being convicted of misconduct.

Tuesday, 14th March 2017, 5:00 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 9:51 am
Gary Steven Christie.

Intelligence officer PC Gary Christie accessed confidential police information for his friend and convicted drugs dealer Asa Dobbing.

Dobbing was convicted of aiding and abetting a person to commit misconduct in public office.

Gary Steven Christie.

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A jury at Teesside Crown Court heard Dobbing was at the head of a significant cocaine dealing operation in Sunderland which involved kilos of the drug being brought to Wearside from the south.

“The couriers who delivered the drugs and collected the money made numerous trips up and down the country,” said prosecutor Nick Dry.

“Kilos of cocaine worth millions of pounds on the street were brought from the south of England up to the Sunderland area, with payment in hard cash going the other way.

“Dobbing and Christie were friends, and had grown up together.

Gary Steven Christie.

“At the time of these events they were in frequent telephone contact, playing football and socialising on a regular basis, even travelling abroad together.”

The court heard police records showed Christie searched the Northumbria Police computer for details of drugs courier Jamie Malloy, shortly after Malloy had been arrested with a kilo of cocaine in his car.

Christie was on the telephone to Dobbing as he made one of the searches.

Christie told the jury the search was nothing to do with cocaine, but he had made it because Dobbing told him Malloy was one of Dobbing’s tenants who had not paid his rent.

Chris Knox, for Christie, said his client may have breached police procedure, but that didn’t amount to the criminal definition of misconduct.

Christie, 42, of Silksworth Lane, Sunderland, denied misconduct in public office, and conspiracy to supply class A drugs between August 2012, and April, 2014.

He was convicted by the jury of misconduct, and acquitted of the conspiracy.

Dobbing, 37, of Ryhope Grange Court, Sunderland, was convicted of aiding abetting a person to commit misconduct in public office between the same dates.

Judge Howard Crowson said he would pass sentence on both men on Thursday.

Granting Christie bail, Judge Crowson told him: “You should not take the granting of bail as any indication of sentence.

“I am granting you bail because you have attended every hearing up to now, and you know you will make matters much worse for yourself if you fail to turn up to be sentenced.

“You should be aware there is an overwhelming likelihood you will get a prison sentence.”

After the verdicts, Deputy Chief Constable, Winton Keenen, of Northumbria Police, said: “We condemn, completely, the actions of PC Christie.

“His behaviour demonstrates a complete disregard for what the vast majority of police officers stand for and is completely at odds with the ethics and values we expect in Northumbria Police.

“It is hugely disappointing that his appalling behaviour has not only let down the public, so badly, and also his colleagues.

“The public must be able to trust their public services and this case should send out the clear message that we will seek out and take swift, decisive action against anyone who abuses that trust.”