Disgraceful cop who stole dead dad's iPad and phones in Paisley unmasked

Alan Sneddon arrives at Paisley Sheriff Court.
Alan Sneddon arrives at Paisley Sheriff Court. -Credit:Ross Turpie Daily Record / SundayMail

This is the shameless Police Scotland officer who nicked a dead man's iPad and mobiles just moments after his death. The "disgraceful" actions of Constable Alan Sneddon, who avoided jail time, came to light yesterday, April 19, when he was condemned for swiping gadgets worth £2,700 from John Green.

Sneddon, aged 46, swooped into Green's residence following a call to look into the 58 year old's unexpected death. During the hearing at Paisley Sheriff Court, it emerged that a paramedic caught him holding one of John's phones while inside the house.

With 28 years on the force, Sneddon then took the phone, another handset, and an iPad back to his place. Over the next few days, the audacious officer is believed to have used the stolen phone, even carrying it with him during two work shifts.

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John's daughter, Megan, expressed her dismay last night: "It doesn't feel like any sort of justice. The statements made in court were all about him and being made out like he was a victim without taking in the impact and trauma this has caused the whole family."

"Those phones contained memories that we will never get back and can never be replaced. It was bad enough that my dad died so suddenly and unexpectedly but this being dragged through the court and feels like reliving his death all over again.", reports the Daily Record.

She added: "I feel like I've not been able to grieve for him properly with this hanging over us. I don't feel like justice has been done on the criminal side in the eyes of the sheriff but it's now over to Professional Standards.

"I can't fault them as they have been nothing but apologetic and equally disgusted that a member of their force would do this. We as a family now want to put this behind us to hopefully now be able to heal and grieve properly for our Dad."

His son, John, added: "I think he's got off lightly. The court had the chance to make an example here and didn't. He's a disgrace. His defence can use all the excuses they want but still doesn't cut it.

John Green tracked his father's phone to the house of the policeman who stole it.
John Green tracked his father's phone to the house of the policeman who stole it. -Credit:Reach PLC.

"I bet if it was Joe Bloggs from down the road they would have been a lot stricter with the sentence. He should have been sent to jail for his disgraceful crime."

Sneddon, of Barmill, Ayrshire, had earlier pleaded guilty to stealing the items from John's home in Paisley, Renfrewshire, in June 2023. Paisley Sheriff Court heard yesterday that John had called NHS 24 to report breathing difficulties and an ambulance was dispatched.

It arrived 20 minutes later, but it was too late, and paramedics found John dead within his home. Sneddon was tasked with attending as he was the most experienced officer in his team.

The callous cop nicked from John - then told John's family that there were high value items in the property they should take away.

Prosecutor Joanne Gilmour explained: "Mr Sneddon was seen by one of the paramedics to be holding a phone in a brown case within the bedroom."

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"The accused then remained in the bedroom of the deceased whilst the other officer obtained details from the paramedics."

"Once positive identification of the deceased was carried out, as is procedure, the accused remarked to the deceased's sister and her husband that there were a number of items of high value within the locus and suggested the family remove them."

However, it emerged that Sneddon had already pocketed John's brand new Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, his iPad, and another mobile. The court was told that John's son, also named John, aged 40, could track all of his father's devices since they were connected.

The tracking data showed that the phone was active and had been at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley and the local police station on one day, before moving to Inverclyde Royal Hospital the next day, coinciding with Sneddon's shifts.

Defence Solicitor Advocate Pamela Rodgers highlighted that Sneddon, a married father of two with children aged six and three, was the "sole financial provider for his entire family".

She detailed: "He was experiencing financial difficulties. He had significant debts and was struggling at the end of each month to make ends meet."

Rodgers also mentioned that Sneddon's wife, who suffers from type 1 diabetes, relies on a monitor implanted in her arm which sends alerts to an app on both their phones, instructing when to act on her blood sugar levels.

Furthermore, she recounted an incident where Sneddon had to administer gel into his wife's mouth to save her life due to her condition, and noted that he had not been receiving notifications from the health app on his own phone.

She added: "That may have been a factor in his thought processes at the time but he stressed to me this was not premeditated or planned and was opportunistic."

Instead of jail time, Sheriff Simon Fraser imposed a Community Payback Order, placing the man under social worker supervision for 18 months and requiring him to complete 140 hours of unpaid work.