Cleveland Police officer avoids jail after admitting mortgage fraud and perverting the course of justice

Cleveland Police officer avoids jail after admitting mortgage fraud and perverting the course of justice

A POLICE officer who forged the signature of her former partner and a former colleague on a loan application has narrowly avoided an immediate prison sentence.

 

Emma Atkinson used the £17,000 loan to buy her ex-partner out of the mortgage on their home but then failed to notify the lender that he was no longer living at the address.

The Cleveland Police officer's deceit when undetected for 12 years until outstanding payments showed up on her former boyfriend's financial records in 2019.

The 40-year-old then asked her colleague to vouch for her and tell investigators that she had signed the documents when in fact she had forged her friend's signature.

 

Teesside Crown Court heard how Atkinson 'panicked' when she was contacted by officers on her own force and attempted to cover up her 'silly' mistake.

Paul Reid, prosecuting, said Atkinson called out at her friend and colleague's house while in full uniform and driving a police car when she tried to convince her to 'not drop her in it'.

 

Atkinson, of Surbiton Road, Fairfield, Stockton, pleaded guilty to fraud and perverting the course of justice.

The court heard how the fraud had not cost her former partner any money or prohibited him from obtaining his own mortgage.

The mother-of-two resigned from the police force following the launch of the investigation and is hoping to start a midwifery course later this year.

Recorder Anthony Hawks sentenced Atkinson to 15 months in custody, suspended for 18 months.

"Until these matters came to light you had not troubled the criminal justice system in any way at all, in fact as a serving police officer, obviously well thought of, you had been working in the criminal justice system," he said.

"It may well be that at the time you may well have had difficulties in your life but it was a thoroughly dishonest and silly thing to do.

"It came back to haunt you because your former partner having received various information which meant these documents came to light, showing that you had forged his signature on a number of occasions and forged the signature of a fellow police officer.

 

"I accept that you panicked when this came to light."