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Former YRP officer headed to jail after appeal dismissed

Richard Senior to serve 7.5 years for corruption-related offences
2020 12 01 YRP cruiser DK
York Regional Police file photo

A 49-year-old former York Regional Police officer is serving a seven-and-a-half years jail sentence following his 2021 conviction on eight corruption-related charges, after his appeal was dismissed by the Ontario Court of Appeal yesterday.

Const. Richard Senior was convicted of the following offences on Nov. 10, 2021,: traffic a controlled substance — cocaine; traffic a controlled substance — testosterone (steroids); possession of a weapon obtained by crime; possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose; unauthorized use of computer x2; and breach of trust x2, according to a York Regional Police news release.

Senior was sentenced to a jail term of seven-and-a-half years, however, he appealed the sentence. On Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024, the Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed the case and Senior was taken into custody to begin serving his jail term, the police service stated.

A 10-month-long investigation by the force's major projects unit in January 2018 found the officer was involved in a number of criminal enterprises, including the attempted armed robbery of a quantity of cocaine; the theft and illegal possession of a police shotgun; trafficking of steroids to another officer; trafficking cocaine; and the disclosing of confidential police information, police said. 

On Oct. 9, 2018, he was arrested and was prosecuted on 14 charges in the Superior Court of Justice and convicted of eight.

The 16-year York Regional Police officer had worked in uniform patrol in Markham, most recently in the community oriented response unit.

Senior was suspended without pay Jan. 20, 2020, after he received a custodial sentence. Under the Police Services Act, the chief of police cannot withhold pay from a suspended officer unless that officer is convicted of an offence and sentenced to a term of imprisonment. Immediately following the dismissed appeal, Senior resigned from York Regional Police.

“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. “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.”