Sunday, August 09, 2015

Another crooked British cop

A veteran police detective who swindled £85,000 to fuel his massive gambling addiction has been jailed for two years. Det Con Christopher Hawkins, 47, served with Norfolk Police for 25 years before he was booted out when he turned to crime.

Hawkins was in the force at the time he started fraudulently signing documents in his then wife's name to get loans which he blew gambling.

His former wife, a serving police officer, who was totally unaware what he was doing, has had her credit rating hit and could lose her home, a court heard yesterday.

Hawkins, of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, was jailed for two years at Ipswich Crown Court after he admitted four counts of fraud. The offences spanned six years, from 2007 until 2013.

But the full extent of the fraud was only discovered after Hawkins admitted fraud by false representation between March and April 2012.

It was after he was sentenced for that offence, which related to an £8,000 loan he had fraudulently made in his wife's name, that she 'began to make more detailed investigation into their financial affairs'.

Hawkins falsely claimed his former wife had signed and agreed to be bound by the terms of credit agreements, including extending mortgages and surrendering endowment policies in order to obtain cash loans.

The crooked cop made these applications on both their behalves, forging signatures to acquire the money to pay serious gambling debts.

Andrew Shaw, prosecuting, said Hawkins' ex-wife had access to a Lloyds account which had been used by him during their marriage.

She discovered that cash had been paid into that account, including £25,000 from a mortgage extension application made to Alliance and Leicester, now Santander, in her name which she had been unaware of.

Mr Shaw said the money, which had been paid into the account in February 2007, 'fairly quickly dissipated' as a result of desperate Hawkins' 'gambling addiction'.

He said Hawkins' former wife faced a worrying future because of the defendant's offending and could be forced to sell her home.

Charlie Myatt, defending, said Hawkins had offended when there was a 'significant strain' on his marriage and his behaviour was 'out of his normal character'.  Mr Myatt said it 'was not borne out of sheer greed and selfishness' but out of 'an addiction to gambling which grew out of control'.  He said the gambling was to 'escape' rather than out of greed'.

Hawkins, an officer from December 1989 to October 2014, was sacked following his 2014 conviction after an internal disciplinary process with the Professional Standards Department.

Speaking after the case, Det Sgt Gary Lillie, of Norfolk and Suffolk Police's Anti-Corruption Unit, said: 'We expect the highest level of personal and professional behaviour from those serving with us.

'This result highlights how important it is for the forces to continue to robustly investigate any allegations of criminal conduct made against its employees or former employees.

'The fact that Hawkins had deceived those who should have been able to trust him the most and who have particularly suffered via his actions is equally unacceptable.'

Original report here

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