Wandsworth Prison Inmate Corrupts Prison Officer and Met Police Staff

Drugs, Theft and Corruption charges result in sentences for all

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A prisoner who ran a criminal empire from his cell - dealing in drugs and the theft and ringing of luxury cars, after corrupting a prison officer, a police constable and a member of police staff – has been jailed alongside those who helped him.
 
Robert Talbot, aged 33, of no fixed abode, was jailed for 12 years at Southwark Crown Court following an investigation by the Met's Anti Corruption Command.
 
The investigation uncovered that Talbot:
 
Corrupted HM Wandsworth prison officer Ian Cooper to smuggle mobile phones and drugs into prison hidden in large cartons of orange juice.
 
Used an outside 'runner', Thomas King, to handle the theft and cloning of high value vehicles totalling £500,000.
 
Encouraged Cooper to corrupt his partner, MPS Police Constable Hayley Cloud to carry out vehicle checks on cars he could 'ring'.
 
Instructed Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) staff member Natalie Ricketts, corrupted by Cloud, to unlawfully authorise the release of a seized Lamborghini from an MPS car pound.
 
Ordered that checks be carried out on criminal associates, including checks made on behalf of associate Stephen Palmer.
 
Talbot was jailed today alongside:
 
Ian Cooper, aged 35, jailed for five and a half years.
 
Thomas King, aged 27y, of Sutton at Hone, Kent jailed for four years.
 
Natalie Ricketts, aged 28, ten month suspended
sentence.
 
Stephen Palmer, aged 28, of Temple Road Croyden, jailed for 12
Months.
 
Hayley Cloud, aged 28 yrs, was also jailed for two
years on 17 June 2010.
 
Carl Bussey, Acting Commander of the Met's Directorate of Professional Standards said: "Today's jail sentences should serve as a stark warning that the MPS will root out and deal robustly with police officers and staff who engage in corrupt activities, and also with those that corrupt them.
 
"There is no place for the likes of Ricketts or Cloud in our organisation and they no longer work for the MPS.
 
"This has been a significant and complex investigation with officers from the Met's Anti Corruption Command working closely with the London Prison Anti-Corruption Team, her Majesty's Prison Service, and the Met's Stolen Vehicle Unit.
 
"Be assured, the Directorate of Professional Standards works to ensure the small number of officers and staff who do not meet the very highest standards of professionalism and integrity expected are identified and dealt with so that Londoners can have confidence in their police service."
 
A Prison Service spokesperson said: "The vast majority of prison service staff are decent, hard working, professional people.
"There is no place for corrupt members of staff within the Prison Service and we deal with them in a robust manner.
We do all we can to ensure that corrupt staff are identified, prosecuted and brought to justice through close working with the police. We will always press for the strongest charges to be laid. The prosecution of Ian Cooper demonstrates our commitment to root out corruption."
 
March 28th, 2011