Former police officer jailed after claiming expenses for Pride event he did not attend

A former police officer has been sentenced to a year in jail after he dishonestly claimed expenses to represent Staffordshire Police at Gay Pride in London, when he did not even go.

Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court
Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court

Staffordshire Police’s Anti-Corruption Unit found that Darren Oakey, 52, of Sayers Road in Stafford, had dishonestly claimed mileage for the journey he did not make to and from London Pride on July 1, 2016.

The former inspector at the force’s headquarters then perverted the course of public justice in May 2017 by submitting four photographs to officers investing his conduct, which he claimed to have taken personally at the event, when he knew he had not taken them.

Between May 2013 and August 2015, Oakey, without the consent of the data controller, knowingly or recklessly obtained or disclosed personal data or information contained therein, contrary to the Data Protection Act 1998.

He was suspended in January 2018 and then resigned, leaving the force in June 2018.

Oakey pleaded guilty to one count of fraud by false representation, perverting the course of public justice and obtaining/disclosing personal data/information (contrary to the Data Protection Act).

He was sentenced at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court on Friday.

Assistant Chief Constable Justin Bibby said: “Darren Oakey was working in a position of trust. He betrayed that trust and let down his colleagues and the police service.

"His suspension and prosecution reinforce the fact that Staffordshire Police is committed to the highest levels of ethical policing and integrity.

"We take offences such as this incredibly seriously and once his offending came to light he was quickly suspended from duty and his access to any information systems removed.

"Any member of Staffordshire Police suspected of a criminal offence will be thoroughly investigated."

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