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Greater Manchester no longer has a Police and Crime Commissioner. The Mayor of Greater Manchester has now taken responsibility for policing and crime.

Conviction of corrupt officer sends an important message – Commissioner

Daniel Withnell

The conviction of a former GMP detective for corruption sends a strong message that police officers behaving in a criminal way will be brought to book, says Tony Lloyd. 

The Police and Crime Commissioner was commenting following the sentencing of Daniel Withnell, (born 08/07/1982), of Cranark Close, Heaton, Bolton, for misconduct in a public office and perverting the course of justice. 

Withnell was yesterday jailed for four years after he pleaded guilty at an earlier to two counts of misconduct in a public office and perverting the course of justice after he agreed to plant a gun and drugs in a car in exchange for cash. 

Tony said: “The public expect a custodial sentence for a crime of this serious nature. The breach of trust in this case is enormous and falls well short of the professional standards and integrity we expect from our police officers. 

“Well done to the police for bringing Withnell to justice. It sends an important message that police officers behaving in a criminal way will be brought to book. That is what the public rightly expects and today’s sentencing has delivered that.” 

Claire Smethurst (born 30/10/1964), of Hatherlow Court, Westhoughton, Bolton, was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court Crown Square on 9 October 2013 to 15 months imprisonment in prison suspended for two years.

She was found guilty of perverting the course of justice at an earlier hearing.

Between 30 September and 30 October 2012, Withnell offered to plant a shotgun in a car belonging to a man at the request of Claire Smethurst who offered to pay him £19,000.

Between 28 February and 2 October 2012 Withnell obtained information on a police investigation and drafted a charging advice form purporting to be a lawyer from the CPS relating to a £500,000 money laundering investigation.

The advice suggested that offences under investigation should either be discontinued or subject of lesser charges. The form was then sent on to a friend of the person subject of the criminal investigation via Withnell’s GMP email.

On 16 March 2013 Withnell sent an anonymous text message to a police officer indicating a hit man had been paid to kill Daniel Withnell knowing these details were false.

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