Croydon policeman avoids jail after falsely claiming his iPhone was stolen

Former Croydon PC Gareth Beard escaped jail

Former Croydon PC Gareth Beard escaped jail

First published in News by , Chief Reporter

A Croydon policeman who lied about having his iPhone stolen was caught after he used it to call his girlfriend.

Gareth Beard of Banstead Road, Caterham, claimed his mobile phone was stolen in McDonalds in the Whitgift Centre in April 2010, to get a free replacement from O2.

The 35-year-old also entered his own crime report on the Met's Crime Reporting System (CRIS), to back up his fictious claim.

But suspicions were raised when CCTV from the McDonald's restaurant showed no trace of the officer.

The incident was reported to the Directorate of Professional Standards in June 2010, who launched an investigation but further inconsistencies in his story were found.

Southwark Crown Court heard he then changed the date of the alleged theft, but again it did not tally up with evidence gathered.

Beard denied fraud but was convicted on September 12, following a trial at the court. He resigned from the police force the following day.

The court heard Beard suffered post-traumatic stress after his lip was bitten off when he attended a domestic violence incident.

He was put on anti-depressants and was consigned to a desk job.

Shortly before he committed the crime he had faced disciplinary action for poor time keeping.

At Southwark Crown Court on Thursday, he was spared jail and sentenced to six months in prison suspended for two years.

He was ordered to pay £1,000 costs and will be subject to a tagged curfew between 8pm and 7am.

Sentencing him Judge David Higgins said: "Your motive for this offence, which in my judgement can only be pre-mediated, was to secure a new phone worth between £400 and £500.

"This was an insurance fraud, albeit towards the lower end of the spectrum.

"There is, however, an added dimension to this as you were at the time a serving police officer and you used your position to further this fraud."

The judge said Beard's lies when he was found out was "merely a product of such things as panic, confusion and foolishness.

He added: "In my judgement it was neither. This was obviously the product of a criminal who in fear of being discovered attempted to lie as a way out of his predicament without success."

Comments (4)

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6:41pm Thu 11 Oct 12

Hove Ex-Pat says...

It is people like him who make it bad for the 99.9% of honest decent cops. He should have been charged with misconduct in public office. He should also have been jailed.
It is people like him who make it bad for the 99.9% of honest decent cops. He should have been charged with misconduct in public office. He should also have been jailed. Hove Ex-Pat
  • Score: 0

7:42pm Thu 11 Oct 12

croydon chav says...

What's new? Another bent copper getting a slap on the wrist! Will he be claiming compensation for the bite on the lip or will that involve another taxpayers inquiry? I like many others have lost so much respect for the Police and incidents like this and the Ian Tomlinson case just infuriate the general public!
What's new? Another bent copper getting a slap on the wrist! Will he be claiming compensation for the bite on the lip or will that involve another taxpayers inquiry? I like many others have lost so much respect for the Police and incidents like this and the Ian Tomlinson case just infuriate the general public! croydon chav
  • Score: 0

10:06pm Thu 11 Oct 12

Racnipeels says...

Many bent coppers still around, most based on the Football aid teams at Crystal Palace FC im told.

Hope he has learnt a lesson from this silly mistake and hope he can go on to find a new job.
Many bent coppers still around, most based on the Football aid teams at Crystal Palace FC im told. Hope he has learnt a lesson from this silly mistake and hope he can go on to find a new job. Racnipeels
  • Score: 0

5:48pm Fri 12 Oct 12

ANNE GILES says...

The majority of our policemen/women are extremely honest people. Only a few make these silly mistakes.
The majority of our policemen/women are extremely honest people. Only a few make these silly mistakes. ANNE GILES
  • Score: 0

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