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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 July, 2003, 18:02 GMT 19:02 UK
Detective sacked over drug 'links'
Ladgate Lane, Cleveland Police HQ
The hearing took place at Cleveland Police HQ
A detective who was suspended for more than six years over alleged links with a known drugs smuggler has been sacked from his force.

Detective Sergeant Ian Weedon was dismissed from Cleveland Police on Wednesday after a two-week disciplinary hearing.

He faced nine allegations of improper conduct following an inquiry supervised by the Police Complaints Authority.

The dismissal of Mr Weedon, 47, ends the controversial undercover Operation Teak investigating links between officers and former Middlesbrough drug baron Brian Charrington.

Mr Weedon, who had 27 years service, had denied charges relating to disobedience of orders, falsehood and prevarication, discreditable conduct and improper disclosure of information.

He was found guilty of eight, one was not proved.

Taped conversations

Colleague, Detective Constable Paul Hardy, who admitted two offences, improper disclosure of information and being an accessory to a discipline offence, was fined 18 days' pay.

Charrington made headlines in the mid 1990s when it emerged he had been the police informant behind a 150m South American cocaine seizure.

Drug dealing charges against a former car dealer were dropped and he fled to Spain.

Inquiries by outside forces cleared a number of officers of any wrongdoing over their involvement in the affair but Cleveland Police pursued the case and taped hundreds of hours of conversations.

'Hard work'

Mr Weedon was suspended in June 1997 but not charged with any offence until May 2001.

Mr Weedon, along with Mr Hardy, another retired officer and Charrington were accused of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.

But the men were acquitted at Leeds Crown Court in May last year when the judge ruled telephone tapping could not be used in court.

Police Complaints Authority member Diane Hughes said: "The actions of these officers have undermined confidence in the police service and in particular the hard work of their colleagues who were fighting drug crime.

"I would commend the officers from Cleveland Police and Devon and Cornwall Constabulary who worked so hard to investigate Operation Teak."

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