A former Dorset Police officer has been jailed for fraud after he claimed to be unfit for work due to an injury despite continuing to live an active lifestyle.
A former police officer named Matthew Littlefair, aged 36, suffered a small traffic collision on 30 October 2017 which had him attend the hospital for whiplash and some back pain. When he was finally discharged from hospital, he claimed to be unfit for duty and took further sick leave from work due to his claims of continued pain.
Littlefair was given reduced hours and the ability to work from home, so he could return to his job and continue working in April 2018 but then complained further about feeling pain and claiming it was too severe to continue working. A medical practitioner determined, based off information that Littlefair himself provided, that he could no longer work as a frontline officer in September 2019 and he was offered an ill-health award. The former officer appealed the decision and claimed that it was unlikely he would be able to work again.
Dorset Police’s Counter Corruption Unit was alerted in January 2020 to concerns surrounding the claims made by Littlefair and an investigation was launched. A surveillance team saw Littlefair drive to remote locations multiple times to walk his dog or go running and a search of his house in May 2020 had police find six pharmacy bags with prescription medication dating from October 2019. Only two of the bags had been opened and only a small amount of the medication was actually used, this alongside digital evidence proved that Littlefair was exaggerating his situation
Police interviewed Littlefair on 28 May 2020 and he was suspended from duty before investigators with the Crown Prosecution Service charged him with fraud by false representation. He pleaded guilty and officially resigned from the Dorset Police before being sentenced with two years and three months in prison by Salisbury Crown Court on Wednesday 3 November 2021.
Detective Inspector Darren Moores of Dorset Police’s Counter Corruption Unit, said: “The former officer was found to have acted fraudulently in misrepresenting the extent of his injuries, and today’s outcome shows that such deceitful behaviour will not be tolerated. It will now be for the force to take forward appropriate misconduct proceedings.”
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