Sheffield police station worker stole £96,000 seized by officers as part of investigation

Sheffield Crown Court
Sheffield Crown Court

A woman who worked at a Sheffield police station stole nearly £96,000 seized by officers as part of an investigation.

Jaqueline Fletcher, aged 48, worked at Attercliffe police station when she stole £95,800 from the property store in 2013.

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The cash had been seized by police officers as part of an investigation and as the property store team leader at the police station, Fletcher was responsible for managing money deposited there.

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She told the officer in charge of the police probe that she had counted the cash and banked the money in the force account but when checks were carried out Fletcher was found to have only banked £1,500.

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The rest went into her own personal account and has never been paid back.

Fletcher, who left South Yorkshire Police in 2015, pleaded guilty to four counts of theft during a hearing at Sheffield Crown Court yesterday.

One count related to the theft of the cash from South Yorkshire Police, two related to the theft of cash from the Department for Works and Pensions and another related to the theft of cash from the sale of her mother's home, which was due to pay for care fees.

The stolen cash amounted to £275,875 in total.

The court heard that Fletcher, of Boundary Walk, Brinsworth, Rotherham, obtained £116,527 from the sale of her mother’s property in 2011 and the cash was intended to cover the elderly woman's care home fees.

Only £29,000 was ever paid towards the fees, with around £15,000 given to another family member.

The remaining amount is unaccounted for and resulted in one of the charges against her.

The theft of DWP cash occurred between October 2011 and July 2016 and involved Fletcher being in receipt of pension and allowance benefits for her mother, who was in a care home.

She received £63,548 to assist with fees and associated costs for her mother but no payments were made towards the fees and the cash has never been recovered.

Detective Inspector Anna Sedgwick, of South Yorkshire Police, 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 investigation will now take place in an attempt to recover as much as possible of all the money stolen."

She added: "We expect high standards, honesty and integrity from all of our officers and staff at South Yorkshire Police, 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 be sentenced on Thursday, August 9.