A POLICEMAN is trying to get his life back after a “horrific two years” of being falsely accused of fraud by his colleagues.
DC Dennis Weeks, of Gordon Road, Wanstead, was acquitted of 12 charges of fraud by false representation at Southwark Crown Court last week (May 10).
During the seven-day trial DC Weeks had to fend off allegations he fiddled travel expenses during his time as deputy secretary of the Metropolitan Police Federation, the force’s union.
But the father-of-two told the Guardian how the “harrowing” ordeal started two years before his day in court, leaving him ousted from his senior union role and shunned by fellow officers.
He said: “I was subjected to these accusations by my colleagues and everyone was talking about it, but I had very little knowledge of what was actually going on.
“As far as I was concerned I hadn’t done anything wrong, but I couldn’t do anything to defend myself until the case went to court.
“It was an incredibly difficult and harrowing time for me, my family and friends.”
After the allegations came to light in December 2014, the 45-year-old was forced to resign from his job with the Federation and placed on “restricted duties” at Barkingside Police Station.
He said: “They tried to accommodate me as best they could, but with the allegations against me, there wasn’t very much they could let me do.
“I spent a lot of time doing very menial and mundane tasks, and most officers were very reluctant to engage with me at all.”
As the trial got closer, DC Weeks had mixed emotions about defending himself in court.
He added: “Having the case before a jury gave me the chance to properly defend myself, which I hadn’t been given before.
“I had faith in the justice system, but there’s always a chance things can go wrong when you ask someone else to judge.”
Despite proving his innocence, DC Weeks admits the “smear of the allegations” are much harder to shrug, as well as the health problems they have left him with.
But while he is still waiting for the results of the Met’s own misconduct investigation, the Redbridge officer wants to focus on getting back to normal, and spending more time with his wife, son, 6, and daughter, 9.
He said: “I’m not thinking about my career at this stage.
“I sacrificed years of my life serving the community for the Met, but I need to reflect on that now, and focus on rebuilding my life with my family.
“It’s been an awful experience, but I want to draw the positives from it.
“You really get to know who your friends are, and this all would’ve been impossible without their support.
“It’s them, my family, and everyone at Christ Church and the community in Wanstead who have given me the strength to pull through.”