West Midlands PC made up claim fake girlfriend died of cancer

- BBC News

West Midlands PC made up claim fake girlfriend died of cancer

A police officer who made up a story he had a girlfriend then claimed she had died of cancer in order to get time off.

PC Harry Sarkar would have been sacked had he not resigned and his actions were a "significant abuse of trust", West Midlands Police said.

The officers "detailed tissues of lies" about her supposed illness, death and funeral got him bereavement leave and flexible working hours, a misconduct hearing was told.

The student officer resigned in March.

Mr Sarkar did not attend the gross misconduct hearing before Chief Constable Sir David Thompson at West Midlands Police headquarters earlier.

He made the claims about his "fake girlfriend" between October 2020 and June 2021 and force professional standards team said Mr Sarkars sympathetic bosses had signed off "sick leave" and other benefits after relying on his lies.

The officer received three days bereavement leave and benefited from more flexible working hours than his colleagues, it is understood, at a time when the force was under strain due to a number of officers testing positive for Covid-19 during the second and third national lockdowns.

"This case concerns a protracted period, with the officer creating a fictional relationship where the other party was suffering from cancer and died," Sir David said.

"This enabled supervisors to allow enhanced flexibility in his working.

"These truths were repeated and developed over a sustained period of time."

While no investigations were compromised, it involved Mr Sarkar "using powers in bad faith" and there was no obvious mitigation or reason for his behaviour.

"The public would not expect this from an officer and will be concerned over the obvious odious nature of such a misrepresentation," Sir David added.

Concluding the hearing, he said "no other sanction would have been suitable and the officer would have been dismissed without notice and accordingly".

Mr Sarkar has also been banned from becoming a police officer in the future.

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