Former South Yorkshire Police employee pleads to theft of £275K

Date published: 13 July 2018 12:08
Dated: 13 July 2018 12:52:38

A 48-year-old woman previously employed by SYP has appeared at court and entered a guilty plea to four counts of theft.

Jaqueline Fletcher of Boundary Walk, Rotherham, was reported on summons to court for theft from employer, SYP, two counts of theft from the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP) and theft from the person of another in May 2018.

The four offences, which amount to a total theft of £275,875 occurred between 2011 and 2016.

She appeared before Sheffield Crown Court yesterday (Thursday 12 July) where she pleaded guilty to the offences.

In 2011 Fletcher obtained £116,527 from the sale of her mother’s property, of which the proceeds were to cover care home fees for her elderly mother. Of this money, approximately only £29,000 was ever paid towards the fees, with about £15,000 given to another family member.

The remaining amount is unaccounted for and resulted in the charge of theft from the person of another.

The two counts of theft from DWP, occurred between October 2011 and July 2016, and were in connection to Fletcher being in receipt of pension and allowance benefit for her mother who was in the care home. The payments, totalling £63,548, were to assist with fees and any associated costs for her mother.

There were no payments made to the fees, or any expenses that have been established that were made for the benefit of her mother. There is also no money remaining.

In 2013, a large quantity of cash was seized as part of a police investigation and placed into the property store at Attercliffe Police Station where Fletcher was employed as Property Store Team Leader.

As part of her role, Fletcher was responsible for managing cash within the store.  In this role, Fletcher needed to display honesty and integrity.

Fletcher informed the officer in charge of the investigation, she had counted the cash and banked the money in the Force account.  In reality, Fletcher had banked £95,800 into her own bank account.

She banked £1,500 in the Force account, in an attempt to cover up the theft. Fletcher left the Force in 2015 and the money has not been recovered.

Detective Inspector Anna Sedgwick said: “While Fletcher has admitted her guilt, she has still shown she is a deceitful, untrustworthy and dishonest person, highlighted with the unscrupulous crime of stealing from her own elderly mother.

“Fletcher also absolutely abused her position of trust within the Force, manipulating her knowledge of the property store processes and procedures at the time in an attempt to cover her tracks.

“A Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) investigation will now take place in an attempt to recover as much as possible of all the money stolen.

“We expect high standards, honesty and integrity from all of our officers and staff at SYP, and we will not accept or tolerate any individual employed by the Force who chooses to disregard the trust placed in them and break the law.”

Fletcher is due to appear back at Sheffield Crown Court for sentencing on Thursday, 9 August.

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