Police investigator up for excellence award

Teresa Bentley of North Yorkshire Police's Financial Investigation Unit. (s)
Teresa Bentley of North Yorkshire Police's Financial Investigation Unit. (s)

A FINANCIAL investigator from North Yorkshire Police has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award for her work on a high-profile murder investigation.

Teresa Bentley, of the force’s Financial Investigation Unit, has been shortlisted for the Individual Award category in the Keith Hughes Awards for Excellence in Financial Investigation 2011, for her detailed and painstaking work which helped to convict Robin Garbutt of the murder of his wife Diana.

On the morning of Tuesday, March 23, 2010, North Yorkshire Police received reports of an alleged robbery and murder at the village Post Office in Melsonby near Richmond.

Teresa was immediately assigned to the case after it became apparent that the Garbutts’ financial background was an integral and crucial element of the investigation into Diana’s death. It centred around the business and personal accounts of the couple and the alleged robbery which Garbutt claimed had taken place.

Teresa worked closely with Post Office Fraud Investigation Officers and enquiries suggested that highly irregular management of the Post Office was indicative of theft rather than the reported robbery.

Teresa gave evidence at the trial to support the prosecution case against Robin Garbutt. This allowed the prosecution to advocate successfully that a robbery had not actually taken place but was in fact an elaborate cover-up.

Detective Inspector Ian Wills, who heads the Financial Investigation Unit, said: “Teresa’s outstanding work in the Melsonby murder investigation contributed directly to Robin Garbutt being brought to justice for the brutal murder of his wife.

“The investigation was very complex, involving a vast amount of financial data from various sources which Teresa collated and presented to the jury in a format which could be readily understood.

“She truly deserves this national recognition and she is a credit to North Yorkshire Police. These awards also recognise the importance of Financial Investigation in modern day policing.”

Teresa will find out if she is the overall winner at an ceremony on February 27.

Here’s the full shortlist of nominees:

Financial Investigation Individual Award

Teresa Bentley – North Yorkshire Police

Joanne Bramley – North Yorkshire County Council TSS

Renata Coutts – South East Regional Asset Recovery Team

Financial Investigation Team Award

Civil Recovery & Tax London – Serious Organised Crime Agency

Eastern Caribbean Financial Investigation Advisory Team – Department for International Development

Special Intelligence Section FIU – Metropolitan Police Service

Proceeds of Crime Act Prosecutor Award

Tony Baker – Crown Prosecution Service, West Midlands Regional Asset Recovery Team

David Mattan – Crown Prosecution Service, North East Regional Asset Recovery Team

Naomi Matthews – Nottingham City Council