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Friday, 19 September 2014

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Police officer stole credit card to pay for foreign holiday

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

Natalie Scott photo
Natalie Scott

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 by Cumbria police 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.

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

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

Mr McKellor, the court heard, 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. “She said she saw the credit card by the door,” Mr Moran told the court.

“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 and pay £5,996 compensation and £85 court costs.

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