Former policeman's delight at verdict
A FORMER policeman has spoken of his delight after he was cleared of forcing his wife to steal more than £25,000 from her employers.Mark Haggerty stared impassively ahead as a jury at Ipswich Crown Court acquitted him of all charges yesterday after just over two hours of deliberation.
A FORMER policeman has spoken of his delight after he was cleared of forcing his wife to steal more than £25,000 from her employers.
Mark Haggerty stared impassively ahead as a jury at Ipswich Crown Court acquitted him of all charges yesterday after just over two hours of deliberation.
The 42-year-old, an ex-officer in the Norfolk Crime Beat Unit, was accused of putting pressure on his now estranged wife Sarah to steal £25,693 from Thetford-based Advantage Technologies Ltd, between December 1998 and August 2001.
Mr Haggerty was also cleared of a further nine sample charges of dishonestly retaining wrongful credits paid into both the couple's joint bank account and his own account.
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During the eight-day trial his tearful wife gave evidence against him, claiming that he forced her to steal the money so he could pay the mortgage on their Diss home.
But Mr Haggerty, of Brushmakers Way in Diss, always maintained his innocence, saying that she never told him where the money was actually coming from – instead claiming it was through commissions at work.
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Mrs Haggerty has already pleaded guilty to stealing from Advantage Technologies, where she worked as an office manager, and is awaiting sentence.
Speaking after yesterday's verdict, Mr Haggerty, who now works as a butcher, said that he just wanted to get on with his life.
He added: "I am very pleased with the result and now I look forward to getting on with my normal day to day life.
"I would also like to thank my friends and family who have stood by me during the trial."
Mr Haggerty left the police force in December 2001 after he was suspended and cautioned for using the police national computer to track down a car owned by a man his wife was seeing.
He said that he now wants to pursue 'certain issues in relation to matters leading up to the trial,' but would not expand any further.
"I have been alienated by a lot of people. I hope now that those people can accept me for who I am and not for what I was accused of," he added.