Kurt Bayer is a Herald reporter based in Christchurch

South Canterbury police officer Graham Sharp convicted for social fund theft

Sgt Graham Sharp (Timaru AOS). Photo / Supplied
Sgt Graham Sharp (Timaru AOS). Photo / Supplied

A former South Canterbury cop has been convicted for stealing money from a police social club fund.

Ex-senior police officer and Armed Offender Squad (AOS) member Graham Campbell Sharp was sentenced at Timaru District Court this week.

He was convicted and fined $1500 for using a document for pecuniary advantage, after stealing more than $14,000 from a police AOS social club fund between 2011 and 2015.

Clark, of Pleasant Point, had an interim name suppression order lapse at midnight on Thursday.

It had been granted so that his daughter could concentrate on her performance at a school production this week, the Timaru Herald reported.

He also received a discharge without conviction for possession of police pepper spray.

"This is a very tragic way to end a significant career in the police. It is not just a job and when you fall foul of the law yourself that value disintegrates and the network he has formed over 25 years is no longer there," the Timaru Herald reported defence counsel Jonathan Eaton QC as saying.

Clark worked for many years as a sergeant and senior sergeant at Temuka police station.

He has also been a popular community figure, volunteering as a local rugby coach and sitting on a school board.

Sharp retired from the police late last year, police confirmed today.

A police spokeswoman said the case highlights how they hold their own staff to account when they fall foul of the law.

"The public rightly expect the highest standards from police, which is why integrity is one of our core values," the Timaru Herald reported her as saying.

"The overwhelming majority of police staff live these values every day, and it is always disappointing when individuals fall short in this regard."

- NZ Herald

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