Krispy Kreme price swap PC sacked for gross misconduct

Image source, Joe Giddens/PA
Image caption,
PC Simon Read was found to have intentionally scanned the wrong barcode

A police officer accused of trying to buy a £9.95 box of doughnuts for seven pence by sticking on a cheaper barcode has been sacked for gross misconduct.

PC Simon Read, from Cambridgeshire Police, was found to have switched the price for the cakes at a Wisbech supermarket on 10 February.

A misconduct hearing found he had breached professional standards of honesty and integrity.

PC Read, who had denied the charges, was dismissed without notice.

Image source, Joe Giddens/PA
Image caption,
PC Read had previously worked at several royal weddings and a visit to Blenheim Palace by Donald Trump

At the two-day hearing in Peterborough PC Read said he had made an honest mistake at a Tesco Extra self-service till.

While in uniform, he said he purchased four items from the store - the tray of 12 doughnuts, the carrots, a sandwich and a drink.

The hearing was told he scanned the carrots barcode twice and failed to scan the doughnuts barcode, paying around £4 for the items instead of about £14.

He said: "I simply scanned where I believed the barcodes were and placed them down (in the bagging area)."

The panel ruled his explanation was "lacking in credibility".

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
A manager at Tesco Extra reported his "suspicious" actions to the police

Sharmistha Michaels, chairwoman of the disciplinary panel, said: "On the balance of probabilities we are satisfied that PC Read did intentionally scan the wrong barcode."

PC Read had previously said: "I didn't check the screen. I wish I had have done."

Ms Michaels said CCTV footage showed him looking at it at the time as he selected his method of payment.

She added that if he intended to pay the correct price he could have checked that he scanned the right barcode and it if was a "genuine mistake" he had opportunities to put it right.

His actions were "incompatible with his role as a police officer".

Mark Ley-Morgan, a lawyer who set out the misconduct case, said it was "an officer effectively stealing while in uniform".

Carolina Bracken, PC Read's lawyer, said he had an "unblemished career", had served in the armed forces, before he joined Cambridgeshire police in January and had served with Thames Valley Police from 2008.

Ms Bracken said the case weighed heavily on him and he had received prank calls in the night from people offering him doughnuts.

PC Read has the right to appeal the decision.

After the ruling the Jane Gyford, deputy Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire Police, said: "The public should be able to trust that police officers in their duty will act with honesty and integrity at all times.

"I hope this outcome offers reassurance to our communities that our officers and staff will be held to account for their actions."

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