A detective accused of making hundreds of thousands of pounds by stealing drugs from police seizures told a jury yesterday the cash had instead come from his finding a drug dealer's secret stash of up to Â£500,000.
Nicholas McFadden said he had followed the high-level drug dealer in 2011 after spotting him driving a powerful sports car in Harehills, Leeds.
He told Leeds Crown Court he saw the man go into a house on the borders of Harehills and Chapeltown and went in after him before he closed the door.
He was in plain clothes and when the dealer asked who he was he identified himself. "He swore at me, took a swing at me, pushed past me and ran out of the door," he said.
McFadden told the court he saw the man run across Roundhay Road and went back in to check the house, finding about 20 cannabis plants growing in a first-floor room.
He then went up to the next floor where, in a cupboard leading to a crawl space in the dormer roof, he found two holdalls full of bundles of English and Scottish notes. He never counted it but believed there was as much as Â£500,000. "I just thought 'wow'."
McFadden said he took the holdalls downstairs and, after checking the dealer had not returned, he took them to his unmarked police car before driving to Roundhay Park, checking if anybody followed him.
Asked by his counsel Alistair MacDonald what was going through his mind, McFadden said: "All kinds of things, I knew I had overstepped the mark taking the money, I was trying to justify what I had done and why I had done it."
He had already described earlier in evidence supplementing his income as a detective constable by an illicit trade in steroids and said he also decided to keep the dealer's money.
McFadden, 38, then of Pasture Drive, Castleford denies four charges of stealing drugs and four of conspiracy to supply. His brother Simon, 41, of Darfield Place, Leeds, denies four charges of conspiracy to supply and one of money laundering.
The trial continues.