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Friday, 29 May 2015

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Disgraced Barrow police officer used stolen card to pay for luxury break

A POLICE woman stole a credit card belonging to her mother’s partner and used it to pay for a holiday in Dubai costing nearly £6,000.

Natalie Scott, 36, was on duty in uniform when she pocketed Christopher McKellor’s card after calling at her mum’s home.

She at first tried to use it to pay for the trip for four – but the transaction was not completed.

Scott, who has since been sacked after 12 years with the force, then used it at Manchester Airport to settle the bill for the 10-day trip.

Police arrested her two days after she returned to the country following the holiday to the sun-soaked luxury destination.

Scott, of Rampside, Barrow, wept in court as she sat with her head bowed throughout much of a hearing before North Cumbria Magistrates’ Court in Carlisle.

She was spared an immediate prison sentence after the former constable, who was based in Barrow, admitted theft and fraud by false representation.

Mr John Moran, prosecuting, told the court the theft happened on May 15.

He said: “While on duty in full police uniform she has stolen her mother’s partner’s credit card.

The court heard that Mr McKellor had received a phone call from HSBC to say there had been a transaction that took the card over its limit. Scott was quizzed by fellow officers after her arrest.

Mr Moran said: “She said she saw the credit card by the door. She picked up the card and put it in her pocket and left the house.

“She said she was suffering from stress and depression due to her financial situation.”

In mitigation, the court heard the crimes came “out of desperation” and were a “spur-of-the-moment stupid decision”.

She had offered to reimburse Mr McKellor, magistrates were told.

Scott was sentenced to eight weeks custody, to be suspended for a year.

She must do 200 hours of unpaid work, pay £5,996 compensation and £85 court costs.

After the hearing, a spokeswoman for Cumbria Constabulary said: “We expect the highest standards of professionalism, integrity and conduct from all police officers at all times and any allegations are investigated thoroughly.

“It is vital that our communities have trust and confidence in Cumbria Constabulary.”


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