Line of Duty series 6: I'm the real Ted Hastings – I spent my life catching bent coppers too

A REAL Ted Hastings who led Britain’s biggest police anti-corruption unit today opens the secret details of his crime file for the first time.

Over a number of years, David Wood helped jail 25 bent cops — who all had terrifying links to organised crime groups just like the dodgy officers portrayed in hit BBC1 show Line Of Duty.

He uncovered corruption in London’s Metropolitan Police which even the head of AC-12, Supt Ted Hastings, played by Adrian Dunbar, would struggle to believe.

David, a former Deputy Assistant Commissioner, found one senior officer colluding with gangsters to torture and murder a man — then put his body through a car-crusher — in exchange for £50,000.

ORGANISED CRIMINALS WITH WARRANT CARDS

His team caught cops on the payroll of gangsters planning to firebomb police buildings to destroy vital evidence.

And he sat down with eight “supergrass” informants who went on to reveal the identity of corrupt officers like “H”, the mysterious character created by Line Of Duty writer Jed Mercurio.

Speaking exclusively to The Sun, David, whose career is now set to be turned into a TV drama, said: “When I watch Line Of Duty it takes me back to what I saw, day in day out, for many years in the force.

“Those TV phrases such as OCG and Chis were the soundtrack to my life. The level of corruption we uncovered was frightening.

“We were taking on organised criminals who happened to also have warrant cards.”

David excelled in the Met and by the mid-Nineties former commissioner Sir Paul Condon asked him to head up a new anti-corruption unit. 

It was so secretive that the £2million it cost to create the then unnamed unit had to be laundered out of the Met to ensure there was no trace of the cash. 

It was formed by 30 newly trained cops who had to pretend they had changed their minds about signing up and were leaving the force. Even their families could not know it existed.

It was such a success David was then asked to lead another new unit, CIB 3.

He said: “We covertly investigated corrupt cops and treated them like criminals.

“We bugged their cars, we bugged their homes, we intercepted their calls and we followed them 24/7.

“Eventually I had a team of 300 detectives who were the best of the best hunting down the worst of the worst.

“We put dozens of bent cops where they belong — behind bars.

“The corruption was there constantly and I’ve no doubt it still exists today.”

Dad-of-one David, 64, from Kent, who now runs the elite security firm Global Secure Accreditation, here exclusively opens his police case files for The Sun . . . 

  • The final episode of this series of Line Of Duty is on Sunday, BBC One, 9pm.

COPS SEIZED DRUGS…AND SOLD THEM

FORMER flying squad officer Terry McGuinness broke down the door to an East London drug den and seized 80kg of cannabis.

But instead of taking it to a police station he delivered it to an organised crime gang for a kickback of thousands of pounds.


He and his sidekick Kevin Garner had no idea CIB 3 were filming their every move and had been tracking the former officers for months.

David said: “Organised crime gangs were always on the lookout for rival drug dealers they could rip off.

“All they needed to find were bent coppers willing to help them out. Time and time again they would.

“No drug dealer is going to ring the police to report their gear stolen. So the organised crime gang gets a stash of drugs and the officers get rewarded.”

McGuinness, now 63, and Garner, now 59, who were jailed for seven years in 2000 and 2001, turned supergrass.

David said: “It was a real turning point.

“I showed Sir Paul Condon the video from the flat. I told him, ‘This is what your officers are up to, sir’.

“There and then we had to treat bent cops like organised criminals if we had any chance of rooting them out.”

DETECTIVE’S PLOT TO GET MUM JAILED

WHEN wealthy businessman Simon Jones walked into a private detective agency he had a simple yet chilling request – he wanted to use any means possible to secure custody of his children from the wife he was divorcing.

But the agency in South East London was bugged because David’s team had been tipped off that Detective Constable Austin Warnes was moonlighting there.

They heard a plot to have drugs planted on the woman outside a nightclub and Warnes would feed fake intelligence to officers that she was a drug dealer. 

The plan was for her to go to prison, leaving the child in the father’s sole care.

Eventually one of the agency’s team planted bags of cocaine in her car. 

But undercover officers from David’s team were waiting and replaced it with packets of harmless powder.

Warnes was jailed for five years in 2000 for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

David said: “If we hadn’t nailed him a totally innocent woman’s life would have been destroyed.

“But the lengths corrupt officers went to would never surprise me.”

GANGSTERS ‘PAID £50K FOR KIDNAP’

TO his colleagues, Martin Morgan was a top cop who solved cases quickly – but he was also corrupt.

So when two gangsters wanted to find an accountant in the criminal underworld who owed them £600,000 they turned to Morgan, now 59, and offered him £50,000 to help.

But David was tipped off, found the accountant first and put him in a safe house.

He said: “We fed false clues that the accountant was staying in a hotel.

“We left his passport in the room, hung some of his clothes in the wardrobe and parked his car out the front. Then we wired the room with cameras.”

Days later, as expected, Morgan and the gangsters turned up.

The cameras captured the men discussing kidnapping the man they wanted, gouging out his eyes, torturing him, putting him through a car crusher or dumping his body in a lake.

At one point Morgan was heard handing the criminals plastic restraints, saying: “Put them on him and he’s going nowhere.”

Morgan pleaded guilty to conspiring to unlawfully and injuriously imprison a man and to detain him against his will and was jailed for seven years in 2002.

‘BARONESS’ BECAME A SUPERGRASS

AT her smart four-bedroom house, mum-of-two Evelyn Fleckney looked as far removed from the drugs trade as you can imagine.

But Fleckney – dubbed “chairman of the board” – secretly controlled most of the narcotics supply in the south of England throughout the 1990s from her home in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

Eventually her evil trade in ecstasy, cocaine and cannabis saw her jailed in 1998 for 15 years and she was later described by cops as Britain’s first drugs baroness.

After being locked up David persuaded her to turn supergrass, and she revealed that scores of officers were part of her criminal empire.

David said: “It was only by listening to and working with organised criminals like Evelyn Fleckney that we were able to fully understand how police corruption can facilitate their operation.

“On one occasion she’d got intelligence that a light aircraft was bringing in 400kg of cannabis to the UK. Back then this was worth millions.

“Dealers were meant to be waiting for it. Instead officers on her payroll were there to meet it, seize the drugs and hand them to her.

“Listening to Fleckney was frightening.

“It further under-lined the scale of corruption we were dealing with.”

The testimony of Fleckney, now 66, led to many bent cops eventually being weeded out of the Met.

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