A former British police officer has been jailed for fraud over a lie that her daughter had cancer, when all the while the girl was well and able to take part in showjumping events.
Rachel Hewitt, 39, of Ash Grove, South Elmsall, West Yorkshire, was sentenced to 18 months’ jail after earlier admitting to fraud and misconduct in public office.
Hewitt had at a previous hearing denied a further charge of fraud relating to a career break, and the Crown agreed not to proceed with the matter.
Hewitt told North Yorkshire Police she had to miss shifts because of her daughter’s need for chemotherapy.
In fact, her daughter, now 15, did not have cancer and was taking part in showjumping events.
The offending took place between January 1, 2009, and October last year.
Hewitt was given compassionate leave because of the family’s plight and colleagues raised cash for gifts to help the family.
Judge Simon Jack, in jailing Hewitt, described the offending as an extreme breach of trust.
On one day in 2o10 when Hewitt had indicated her daughter had been hospitalised with pneumonia and would undergo treatment on May 7, the girl was in fact competing at the Port Royal Showground.
On another occasion, in January last year, she claimed her daughter had been in intensive care for eight days, but inquiries revealed that the girl had been acting as a groom for a friend at an equestrian event.
Hewitt no longer works for the police.
Judge Jack said Hewitt’s offending had undermined the trust police officers placed in each other, and to some extent the trust the public placed in the police.