Ex-officer jailed for spending lies
A debt-ridden police officer who indulged in expensive holidays and grouse shooting has been jailed after she kept her lavish lifestyle secret.
Tracy Taylor, 43, from Carlisle, had racked up more than £60,000 worth of debts and as a result had come to an arrangement to pay back a proportion of that sum.
But Newcastle Crown Court heard that she lied to her creditors about her outgoings and was enjoying holidays to Italy and Gleneagles.
Taylor, who yesterday was dismissed from Cumbria Constabulary for gross misconduct, had claimed she was spending £595 a month on childcare and £595 a month on fuel due to a 40-mile (64km) daily trip.
But in fact the childcare for her six-year-old was costing her nothing, as the bill of £14 was being paid for by the police force, and her daily commute was just eight miles (13km).
Andrew Walker, prosecuting, told the court she rented out her house for £750 per month, earning £5,250, purchased a new BMW for £9,000 and went on a two-week holiday to Italy.
Along with her husband Paul she also enjoyed a luxury weekend break at Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland, which included Michelin star food and a shooting day.
Other vacations the pair took included trips to Legoland and to Loch Lomond.
All of this was done despite telling her creditors the family only had a disposable income of £160 per month.
The court was told that Taylor also lied about the cost of water bills and car insurance.
Sentencing her to eight months in jail, Judge Edward Bindloss said that, if the creditors had known the actual amounts of expenditure, it is possible the Individual Voluntary Arrangement might not have been granted.
"You were a serving police officer and it's not surprising they accepted your figures. They trusted you," he said.
"It seems to me that any culpability is at the high end in this case."
Mark Aldrid, defending, said the original debts had come as a result of her husband's failed businesses and also because the couple had been victims of a fraudster.
He said Taylor had been failing at work, had been suffering from depression and had been trying but failing to conceive her second child.
"It was her fear of failing to meet the payments that led her to make this serious error of judgment," he said.
"She has lost everything," he said, "brought shame on her family in a small community and been dismissed from her employment."
Taylor had previously pleaded guilty to a charge of fraud and two counts of making false representation.
This case followed an investigation by Cumbria Police into her conduct.
No evidence was submitted for the charges that Paul Taylor had faced previoisly and the judge recorded not guilty verdicts for them.