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Police officer sacked for failing to buy train ticket

Police officer sacked for failing to buy train ticket

A police officer has been sacked after she "destroyed" her career by failing to buy a £15.60 train ticket.

Pc Frances Tilley admitted she "ruined" her future after avoiding payment for a journey between Bristol Temple Meads and Castle Cary in Somerset last June.

When challenged, the officer claimed she had taken a shorter journey and was "rude and abrupt" to a revenue inspector, a misconduct hearing was told.

The officer, who had served for less than two years and was still on probation, sobbed as she was dismissed from Northamptonshire Police by Chief Constable Simon Edens.

Finding allegations of gross misconduct proven, he said: "In your own words, you have destroyed your career and your future.

"You deliberately lied to evade a fare. You were in the wrong and you knew you were in the wrong at that stage."

The hearing, at the force headquarters at Wootton Hall, heard that Pc Tilley travelled from Northampton to Castle Cary on June 22 last year.

The officer, described as "diligent, professional and committed", was travelling with friends and did not buy a ticket for the final leg of her journey.

Force solicitor Elizabeth Briggs said: "She travelled from Bristol to Westbury and on to Castle Cary. At that stage, she did not have a valid ticket to travel.

"There were opportunities for her to purchase a ticket.

"She said it was her intention to not pay a rail fare for that part of the journey."

A single off-peak ticket from Bristol Temple Meads to Castle Cary today costs £15.60 and the officer went on to pay a fine of £109.65.

She sobbed as she told the hearing: "I can only apologise that I am in this position.

"I have worked for years doing my university degree and I have just destroyed it.

"I completely understand the impact that this has on the force.

"I let myself down, if I could change anything I would."

Written mitigation detailing personal issues was provided to the hearing and her representative Pat Anstead said: "She has done nothing but apologise and been really remorseful for what has happened."

Dismissing her, Mr Edens said: "It's simply unacceptable that a police officer cannot be trusted because of our unique role in society and we must be relied upon to tell the truth."