Belfast Telegraph

Shoplifting accused PSNI woman's suspension lifted by superiors, court is told

By Staff Reporter

It has emerged a police officer currently on trial for shoplifting has been reinstated to her PSNI role following suspension.

Dungannon Crown Court heard she underwent a total of nine separate interviews carried out by a PSNI inspector, throughout which she denied all allegations put to her and branded the evidence of supermarket staff as lies.

During the fifth day of a hearing the inspector, under cross-examination, confirmed Ms Totten was a serving PSNI sergeant at the time of her arrest and was subsequently suspended the following month.

However, he confirmed this suspension was lifted in August, some two months before she would be going on trial.

The nine interview transcripts were read out to the court during which Ms Totten was asked to describe what she saw on CCTV footage and respond to statements provided by Asda staff.

The majority of the evidence centred on a Christmas Eve incident in 2013 and Ms Totten rejected any suggestion she had deliberately entered the store with the intention to steal. A previous incident on December 20, 2013, was touched upon and she maintained the alleged stolen goods were hers and that she had paid for them.

During interview the inspector asked why she had left the store with 72 unpaid items on Christmas Eve.

Ms Totten claimed she did not know these items were in the trolley, and when asked for an explanation she put forward a number of possibilities including taking the wrong trolley or that someone else had placed the items in her trolley when she left it unattended for a time.

She claimed to have been "surprised" to find herself in the car park with unpaid items in her trolley.

Ms Totten also rejected having displayed a modus operandi by entering the store on two separate days, filling trolleys and then claiming to be only paying for a few items, as the bulk of the goods had already been paid for.

On being arrested she was found to have around £4.50 in her purse, which she accepted would not have covered the items. She pointed out she also had credit cards, but conceded in an earlier interview that she did not like using them.

The officer put it to Ms Totten: "Throughout all these nine interviews you have claimed everything said by everyone else is wrong and they are lying. Yet you can give no reason for the 72 unpaid items.

"You do not know how they got into your trolley. You went in for 10 items but came out with 82, of which 72 weren't paid for. You knew exactly what you were doing."

Ms Totten replied: "That's a load of b*****ks."

It was further disclosed Ms Totten was examined by a doctor on arrival at Enniskillen Police Station following her arrest on Christmas Eve.

She disclosed to him she claimed to have taken a concoction of 14 tablets, comprising of eight diazepam and two each of tramadol, Tylex and naproxen.

Ms Totten said: "Yes, I am prescribed them and I took them that day." But she added: "I didn't take them before I drove."

The trial continues.

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