A former Metropolitan Police sergeant who stole thousands of pounds from dead people has been jailed.

Graeme Williams, 66, of Morpeth Avenue, Borehamwood, abused his role as a police volunteer to "shamefully" steal more than £11,000 from the estates of three people, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.

Two senior police officers say Williams, who served 26 years at the Met, acted "disgracefully and deceitfully".

On January 7, Williams was jailed for 27 months.

Part of Williams' role had been to act as the point of contact for sudden deaths that were ruled to be non-suspicious, meaning that no criminal investigation was to take place.

After his retirement in September 2013, he was asked to continue the same role as a police volunteer in May 2014.

The role allowed Williams to have full control over all cash and property recovered from the homes of dead people.

He was tasked with keeping that money and property safe until an heir had been identified, and the property could then be returned to the rightful estate.

The court heard that Williams stole more than £11,000 as well as furniture worth approximately £5,000 from the estates of three people from July 2012 to June 2015.

On December 3, Williams was found guilty of three counts of theft following a trial.

Detective Constable Matt Wigg led the investigation.

He said: "It beggars belief that someone who was trusted both as a police officer and a volunteer should behave so disgracefully. To steal from the dead is shameful and we have been horrified to discover that families who had already been bereaved have suddenly been made to suffer further because of Williams’s actions.

"I would like to thank all of the families who have supported our investigation - and my team who have worked so hard to bring Williams to justice."

Detective Chief Superintendent Marcus Barnett, BCU commander for Hackney and Tower Hamlets, said: "I have been appalled to learn that Williams took advantage of the trust placed in him and abused it for his own financial gain. My dismay is shared by the many officers and staff who worked with him over the years and are equally aghast that he could have been so deceitful.

"I expect each and every one of my officers and staff to conduct themselves with the utmost integrity at all times.

"I would like to offer my sincerest apologies on behalf of the Met to the families affected in this case."

Following the conclusion of the case, the matter is being considered by the Met's Directorate of Professional Standards.