Toronto-area police officer sentenced to 7.5 years in jail following corruption investigation

A Toronto-area police officer has been sentenced to seven and a half years in jail after being found guilty of eight corruption-related charges.

A 10-month long investigation began in January 2018 after police said they became aware an officer with the York Regional Police Service was allegedly involved “in a number of criminal enterprises.”

According to investigators, these enterprises included the attempted robbery of a quantity of cocaine, the theft and illegal possession of a York Regional Police shotgun, the trafficking of steroids to another officer, trafficking cocaine and disclosing confidential information.

Const. Richard Senior, who has been a member of the York Regional Police Service for 16 years, was taken into custody in October 2018. He faced 30 charges initially, but 16 of those were withdrawn ahead of his trial.

During his trial in February 2021, the Crown alleged that Senior filed an intelligence report about his former mistress and attributed the information to a fake confidential source. He then took payment that was meant for the informant.

Other allegations presented by the prosecution included selling steroids to another undercover officer, stealing money he was given to pay informants and inappropriately accessing a police database to disclose confidential information.

Senior’s lawyer argued that his client’s actions were due to lack of experience and training. He also said that none of the incidents would have occurred without the “instigation” of police.

The now 47-year-old was sentenced to jail time after being convicted of eight charges in November, including trafficking cocaine, trafficking testosterone, and possession of a weapon obtained by crime, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, unauthorized use of a computer, and breach of trust.

In addition to the jail time, police said Thursday that Senior faces a 10-year weapons prohibition, a lifetime ban on restricted and prohibited weapons and must submit his DNA.

“He has initiated an appeal from conviction and is expected to be released on bail until that process is complete,” police said in a news release.

Senior worked in Markham in a uniform patrol and prior to his arrest, worked in the Community Oriented Response Unit. He has now been suspended without pay per the Police Services Act.

“This unacceptable criminal behaviour is not tolerated by our organization and my thanks go to the members who investigated this case and the prosecutors who secured the convictions,” said Chief Jim MacSween said in a statement.

“This is not a reflection of the hard-working, dedicated and professional members working each day to keep our community safe. We remain committed to being transparent and accountable to our community.”

With files from the Canadian Press

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