Jailed: Met Police sergeant who ‘stole from the dead’

Ex police sergeant Graeme Willliams, 66, stole from estates of dead people. Picture: Met Police

Ex police sergeant Graeme Willliams, 66, stole from estates of dead people. Picture: Met Police - Credit: MPS

A former police sergeant in east London has been jailed today for two years and three months for “stealing from the dead”.

Graeme Williams had been found guilty at an earlier court appearance on three charges of theft as an employee by stealing money and property from the estates of people who had died.

The 66-year-old, who served under what is now the Met's East Central Command covering Tower Hamlets and Hackney, retired in 2013.

Met Police Commander Marcus Barnett has made a second public apology to the families following his conviction and sentence at Snaresbrook crown court.

"I am truly sorry," the police chief said. "I have been appalled to learn that Williams took advantage of the trust placed in him and abused it for his own financial gain.

"It is disgraceful that the families have suffered further distress at a time when they were mourning their loved ones."

Williams's role had been the point of contact for sudden deaths that were non-suspicious, so that no criminal investigation would be taking place.

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He was asked to continue the same role as a police volunteer after his retirement, which gave him control over cash and property recovered from the homes of people in east London who had died and was responsible for keeping it safe until their heirs were located.

But Williams stole more than £11,000 as well as furniture worth £5,000 from the estates of three people between 2012 when he was a serving officer and 2015 as a police volunteer, it emerged at his trial.

Many officers and staff in the rank and file in the Met who worked with Williams over the years were stunned at his actions while working in a position pf public trust.

Condemnation came from Det Con Matt Wigg who said after the conviction: "To steal from the dead is shameful. It beggars belief that someone trusted as a police officer and a volunteer should behave so disgracefully."

Williams, from Borehamwood in Hertfordshire, who had served 26 years with the Met, was sentenced today to 27 months for three counts of theft when he appeared in the dock.

His case is now being looked into by the Directorate of Professional Standards, Scotland Yard has since confirmed.