A SENIOR policeman has been cleared of being the eyes and ears of a gang of drug dealers who supplied his cocaine.

A jury acquitted Northumbria Police Detective Sergeant Paul Thompson of conspiracy to supply class A drugs and conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office by a unanimous verdict at Newcastle Crown Court today.

The 43-year-old undercover officer, who admitted being addicted to cocaine, was fined £1,000 for drug possession and for misconduct, and was ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge to the court.

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The court heard he had used the Northumbria Police computer to make checks on tenants of properties owned by him and his wife.

Sentencing, Judge Esmond Faulks said: "The misconduct to which you have been found guilty is of a non-sinister type."

His wife Susan Thompson, 44, a £6,000-a-month executive with a Middlesbrough-based housing group, wept as she was cleared of conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

Text messages on her mobile telephone referred to placing orders and party bags, which prosecutors alleged were references to cocaine.

But the jury of six men and six women accepted these were references either to the sex drug kamagra, or alcohol or other items.

The business executive told the six-week trial she and her husband took the Viagra substitute but denied ever taking cocaine or knowing her husband had developed a drug habit.

Det Sgt Thompsons half-brother Brian Thompson, 51, of Thorneyford Place, Newcastle, and Brian Thompsons friends David Wood, 52, of Silver Lonnen, Newcastle, and Stephen Wood, 48, of Thornhill Road, Ponteland, Northumberland, were cleared of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office.

They have admitted conspiracy to supply class A drugs and will be sentenced tomorrow.

Det Sgt Thompson, of Moorlands, Flinthill, Dipton, County Durham, was arrested while on duty at Gilbridge police station, Sunderland, in February last year.

He had been under surveillance for weeks after detectives became suspicious of his links through his half-brother to the Wood brothers, who were known to be involved in the supply of cocaine.

The policeman, who worked as a test purchase officer for the drug squad, was accused of supplying cocaine and making illegal computer checks on the dealers without a valid reason, while his wife was alleged to have supplied cocaine to friends.

Thompson told detectives he was addicted to cocaine and was suffering from bereavement issues following the death of both parents.