Ex-detective denies planting drugs

A FORMER detective took to the stand yesterday and told a jury that he did not plant cannabis in the desk drawer of a colleague.Stuart Hayward-Rutter, 46, of Wenhaston, near Halesworth, is accused of placing cannabis resin in a desk drawer belonging to Detective Constable Mark Beresford at Leiston Police Station, and falsifying a memo about the drug to the force's complaints and discipline department.

By David Lennard

A FORMER detective took to the stand yesterday and told a jury that he did not plant cannabis in the desk drawer of a colleague.

Stuart Hayward-Rutter, 46, of Wenhaston, near Halesworth, is accused of placing cannabis resin in a desk drawer belonging to Detective Constable Mark Beresford at Leiston Police Station, and falsifying a memo about the drug to the force's complaints and discipline department.

Both incidents are alleged to have happened between August 12 and 16, 1999, the jury at Norwich Crown Court has been told.

Stephen Harvey, prosecuting, had earlier said that Hayward-Rutter's motive for carrying out the act was because he had been jealous of Mr Beresford's promotion.

He said that Det Con Beresford had been made acting sergeant at Leiston and Hayward-Rutter “clearly disliked” being overshadowed by him.

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The prosecution completed its case yesterday and Hayward-Rutter began giving evidence in his defence.

He told the jury that he had joined Suffolk Constabulary in 1981 after serving six years with the RAF and in September 1997 joined Leiston CID.

Det Con Beresford had also joined the Leiston CID team shortly before Hayward-Rutter's arrival.

“I had a good working relationship with Mark Beresford and always felt we had got on well together.

“I believe we made a good team as we complemented each other,” said Hayward-Rutter.

In January 1997 Det Con Beresford had been made acting sergeant but this did not cause a problem said Hayward-Rutter.

“I assumed that Mark had been made up because I was leaving Leiston to join the Suffolk Constabulary Special Branch. I was very happy with my career and not jealous of Mark in any way,” he said.

Hayward-Rutter also said he had a good relationship with Pc David Daley who was stationed at Leiston in August 1997.

The memo accusing Det Con Beresford of having the cannabis resin in his desk drawer in order to entice informants into giving evidence forged Pc Daley's signature.

Pc Daley, currently a detective constable stationed at Woodbridge, gave evidence earlier in the trial when he confirmed he did not send the memo and that his signature had been forged.

“I only worked with Pc Daley on one occasion before I was transferred from Leiston to Special Branch but found him to be an excellent young officer,” said Hayward-Rutter.

Hayward-Rutter has pleaded not guilty to perverting the cause of justice between August 12 and August 16, 1999. The trial continues.

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