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PC falsely claimed he was “unfit for work” for more than two years

The former Dorset officer has just been found guilty of gross misconduct.

A misconduct hearing held on Monday found the former Dorset PC guilty of gross misconduct.

PC Matthew Littlefair had previously been sentenced on Wednesday 3 November 2021, to two years and three months’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to a charge of fraud by false representation.

He had resigned from the force following his guilty plea on Friday 13 August 2021.

He had fraudulently claimed to be unfit for work between October 2017 and July 2020, before the force found out via an investigation by their counter corruption unit.

On 30 October 2017, the former officer was involved in a minor road traffic collision while he was off-duty. He was treated in hospital for injuries including whiplash and back pain.

After being discharged from hospital, he reported as unfit for duty and took sick leave.

In April 2018, PC Littlefair attempted a return to work with adjustments including working from home and reduced hours. However, he claimed his pain and symptoms were so severe that he could not continue.

In September 2019, a medical practitioner determined PC Littlefair could no longer perform his duties as a frontline police officer based on information the officer had given him.

He was offered an ill-health award, which required a formal review in five years’ time.

PCLittlefair appealed the decision, claiming he was unlikely he would be able to work again in the future and an appeal hearing was initially set for March 2020.

PC Littlefair received his full salary during this period.

An investigation by the force’s Counter Corruption Unit began in January 2020 and was supervised by the IOPC.

A search of his home address in May 2020 found six pharmacy bags with prescription medication dating to October 2019, only two had been opened and a small quantity of the medication taken.

Seizure of digital devices also revealed that the former officer had been “leading an active life throughout his period of sickness.”

He was suspended from duty following an interview by officers on May 28, 2020.

A timetable for Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) proceedings to recover the pay PC Littlefair had fraudulently claimed was set at the sentencing.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Lyne said: “Members of the public quite rightly expect our officers to operate with the highest levels of honesty and integrity and the actions of former PC Littlefair clearly fell well below those standards. 

“It is disappointing to see an officer dishonestly claiming to be unfit for work, claiming his publicly funded salary and undermining the confidence of the public through his actions.

“I hope this case does demonstrates that, through our Counter Corruption Unit and Professional Standards Department, we will take action against officers who act dishonestly and where appropriate they will not only face internal disciplinary proceedings but also criminal prosecution.

“This behaviour is not indicative of the overwhelming majority of our staff and teams out delivering quality policing day to day and there is no place in Dorset Police for this dishonest behaviour.”

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