1. ITV Report

South Wales Police detective Mark Hopkins jailed for taking cash bribe to drop an investigation

DC Mark Hopkins has been jailed for accepting a pay-off in return for dropping an assault investigation Credit: PA/South Wales Police

A South Wales Police detective has been jailed for accepting a pay-off in return for dropping an investigation.

Detective Constable Mark Hopkins, 49, was rumbled when his ex-wife reported the incident to police in 2015 after the pair had separated.

She had seen the detective constable stuff wads of cash amounting to between £500 and £1000 into a kitchen cupboard after convincing an assault victim to drop charges.

Adam Payter, prosecuting, said: "She told police that one night in 2008, Hopkins came home from work and boasted to her about something that had happened in work.

"He told her that a boy had been beaten up. He was being offered money to drop the allegations.

"There was money in it for Hopkins if he got the boy to drop the allegations."

Cardiff Crown Court heard the detective had persuaded a crime victim to accept a £3,000 pay-off to drop the charges after being beaten up with a baseball bat.

The victim had told the court how Hopkins was off-duty when he called at his home to convince him to to withdraw his witness statement for a £3,000 pay-off.

Hopkins, who had worked with South Wales police for 18 years, was the officer responsible for investigating the baseball bat assault.

Giving evidence at Cardiff Crown Court, the victim described the off-duty visit from Hopkins as “odd”.

He said: “There was a knock at the door and I saw it was Hopkins.

“He said he was off-duty. I thought that was a bit odd but I just assumed he was checking I was okay.

“He said it would be a good idea to accept the money.

“He said if I accepted the money I’d have to drop the charges. I just took it in and did what he said.”

Within an hour of Hopkins’ visit, the victim received a call asking if he’d thought about the offer for "compensation" after the attack.

He added: “Looking back now, that seems really fishy.”

Hopkins, of Ton Pentre, Rhondda, was found guilty of perverting the course of justice after a trial and jailed for four years.

Recorder of Cardiff Eleri Rees said: “You used your authority to convince a young boy to accept money to drop charges of a serious assault.

“No one was brought to justice for this serious assault and witness intimidation.

“Your actions were simple and motivated by greed.

“You have shown little remorse for your actions."

A spokesperson for South Wales Police said the public should be reassured that the force is "committed to tacking criminality and serious misconduct by individuals such as DC Hopkins."

"There is no place for anyone in the service who cannot secure the confidence of their colleagues or undermines the public’s trust in policing."

The force said DC Hopkins will now face allegations of gross misconduct, and an application will be made to the South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner to consider pension forfeiture.