Belfast Telegraph

Police woman accused of stealing M&S boots

By Ciaran Barnes

A police woman has denied stealing a pair of boots from Marks and Spencer.

PSNI officer Catherine Upton, 39, is accused of theft at the retail giant's Sprucefield store, Lisburn, on January 26.

Upton, who is based at the PSNI's Knock headquarters in Belfast, is suspected of shoplifting boots to the value of £70.

She faces the disciplinary action from the force if convicted of being a thief.

Officer Upton appeared at Craigavon Crown Court on Thursday where she pleaded not guilty to a single charge of theft.

She will go on trial next year.

The PSNI has refused to reveal whether or not Upton has been suspended pending the outcome of the case.

The Police Ombudsman is also investigating the shoplifting case.

Al Hutchinson's office is probing claims a senior PSNI officer asked Marks and Spencer to withdraw its complaint against Catherine Upton.

In a statement released shortly after the incident the PSNI said: “Police are investigating the allegation of theft and the Police Ombudsman is investigating the alleged actions of a separate officer during the incident.

“This officer was not present at the scene and is not believed to be involved in the alleged theft.” The matter was also raised at the Policing Board's February meeting.

Speaking afterwards, DUP Assemblyman and board member Jimmy Spratt said: “This is a very damaging allegation and certainly, if founded, then there should be a very full and rigorous investigation by the police service — a criminal investigation — and that investigation into any area of theft or shoplifting should be rigorously dealt with.”

Source Sunday Life

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