A police officer who used to catch criminals now finds himself living among them after he was jailed for perverting the course of justice.
Disgraced PC Abubakar Masum rang Crimestoppers and made a false report that a woman had shot a drug dealer – which resulted in armed police turning up to her workplace.
WalesOnline reports that he made up the bogus claim after becoming “obsessed” with 21-year-old Mia Pitman.
Masum, who has since been booted out from South Wales Police, denied he’d done anything wrong but was convicted following a trial at Cardiff Crown Court.
The 24-year-old was found guilty of two counts of perverting the course of justice and one count of gaining unauthorized access to the police computer system.
He was sentenced to three years and six months imprisonment and made subject to an indefinite restraining order.
Sentencing, Judge Michael Fitton QC said Masum’s offenses were “substantially aggravated” because he was committed while serving as a police officer.
He added: “It’s quite clear you are a deeply complex and troubled man.
“You are so wrapped up in your own feelings about yourself, your personality, you background and your own desires that you do not comprehend the harm you have done to Mia Pitman and others.
“As a course of conduct committed by a police officer, you have done harm not just to your victim and her associates but to your family and for that you should hang your head in shame.
“You have also done enormous harm to the police whose reputation suffers every time an officer breaks the law and ends up in prison.”
The trial previously heard Masum, of Page Street, Swansea, invented claims about Tesco worker and university student Ms Pitman, and lied to a Crimestoppers operator that she had shot an Albanian.
He made a number of anonymous calls one of which resulted in armed police attending Ms Pitman’s workplace.
Criminology graduate Ms Pitman told the jury she had trusted Masum and thought he was her friend.
She said she felt “scared and upset” when she repeatedly faced questions from police because the defendant had accused her of criminality.
Ms Pitman met the defendant in a nightclub and began exchanging on social media, but around Christmas 2019 the messages became more frequent and flirty.
The court heard she was concerned Masum had a girlfriend at the time and he would not answer her when asked directly about it.
One of Masum’s targets was Ms Pitman’s Tesco colleague was Leon Croucher, who had a “blossoming friendship” with the target of his obsession.
Masum used a South Wales Police computer to search for details about him on March 18, 2020, typing the words “Croucher” and “Swansea”.
In calls to Crimestoppers in March, May, June and July 2020, Masum said Ms Pitman was storing a handgun on Croucher’s behalf.
Cops failed to turn up any evidence to support Masum’s claims despite repeat searches of Mia’s house.
Police began investigating the malicious calls to Crimestoppers after some of the information Masum was providing was thought to only be known to police.
The creepy ex-cop was then arrested on July 21, 2020 after wasting around 200 hours of police time with his venomous lies.
In a victim personal statement read out to the court, Ms Pitman said she found visits made by the police at workplace as “frightening and embarrassing”.
She said she also suffered nightmares about the defendant and found it hard to concentrate on her university work.
In mitigation, defense barrister Graham Trembath said his client had lost his job and a long-term relationship of six-years as a result of his offending.
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He said what made the case “so bizarre” was the fact Masum and Ms Pitman had only met in person three times and he described the defendant as a “Walter Mitty” character who made “wild and florid” accusations against his victims.
The barrister also described Masum as a “complex young male” who had experienced a number of adverse experiences including abuse, poverty, parental death, racial bullying, and mental health issues.
He also said there were traits of personality disorder which needed to be considered.
Following the hearing, John Griffiths of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: “Abubakar Masum deliberately abused his position of power as a police officer.
“The potential consequences of his actions were extremely serious.
“Having heard the strength of evidence presented by the CPS the jury convicted Masum and he has been brought to justice for his grave breach of trust.”
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