A DISGRACED former detective who stole thousands of pounds worth of mobile phones from the police store to sell online has appealed against his sentence.

Peter Yeates, the uncle of tragic Joanna Yeates who was murdered in Bristol in 2010, was jailed for eight months after pilfering mobile phones and cameras from the stores across Dorset over three years.

The 51-year-old was handed a 34-week prison term last month after admitting four counts of theft from employer.

A spokesperson for the Court of Appeal confirmed that Yeates has now lodged an appeal against his sentence and his case will be reviewed by a single judge.

Yeates, who recently retired as a detective sergeant in Dorset Police’s Major Crime Investigation team, blamed his offending on the breakdown of his marriage, pressures of work and the tragic murder of his niece.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard that Yeates, of Gravel Hill, Poole, had admitted stealing two Fujifilm Finepix digital cameras worth around £65, a Casio Exilim digital camera costing £26.47, and a number of mobile phones worth no more than £5,000 on dates between January 1, 2009, and May 31, 2012.

Investigations later established that Yeates had been selling phones on the Mazuma Mobile website and had recycled 461 phones with them over three years and received £10,671.35. The amount he received from each device ranged from £3 to £120.

Ian Lawrie QC said Yeates’s sense of humiliation was “profound”, He said Yeates once tackled an armed man during a domestic incident and had received six commendations during his career.

Sentencing, Judge Ian Pearson ordered Yeates to pay Dorset Police £8,000 and £500 towards court costs.

Yeates reached the end of his service last year and subsequently retired from Dorset Police.