A police officer who scanned a seven-pence barcode for carrots instead of the £ 9.95 barcode for Krispy Kreme donuts he bought for colleagues said it was an honest mistake.
PC Simon Read told a misconduct hearing that he did not realize he had scanned the root barcode twice at the self-service checkouts at a Tesco Extra in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, on Feb. 10 this year.
He accepted that he hadn’t scanned the barcode for the box of 12 donuts while buying four items around 11:30 am – the donuts, carrots, a sandwich, and a drink – but said this was not done on purpose.
When asked if he intended to steal the donuts, he told a hearing at the East of England Showground in Peterborough on Wednesday: “Absolutely not, and I am shocked to find ourselves in this situation today.”
The Cambridgeshire police officer, who joined the police force in January this year, said he bought the sweet treats for colleagues as a “pie fine.” #
“Cake fines are quite common among the police,” he said.
“It’s a light way to be punished.”
He said people could get a “pie fine” if they had a bad day, or if they went to a department or left.
PC Read said he bought the carrots for his sergeant who was on a diet, and thought it would be “funny” if they were in a Krispy Kreme paper bag.
He said he pasted the carrots’ barcode onto the donut tray because it would have ruined the joke if he stuck it on the paper bag.
“I just scanned where I thought the barcodes were and put them (in the storage area),” he said.
‘I haven’t checked the screen.
‘I wish I had.
“I wish I had paid more attention to what was an ordinary experience – going to the store, scanning some items and paying.”
He said he was “embarrassed” by what happened, adding, “These have been a very long and long nine months, that I wasn’t working when I should be.”
He said he took a receipt but didn’t look at it and added, “I had no reason to.”
Attorney Mark Ley-Morgan, who formulated the misconduct case, said: “He has maintained from the start that this is all a terrible mistake, from not paying attention while scanning his items.
“We say this is very unlikely to be the truth.”
Mr. Ley-Morgan continued: “He should have stood there with his eyes closed so as not to see what was happening on the screen in front of him.
You have to tap the screen.
“You have to tap to pay, you have to tap to say whether you want bags, you have to indicate which payment method you choose.
“Are you doing that without looking at the screen?”
He continued: “It is unbelievable that at one point he would not have seen anything over £ 4 being charged, knowing moments before picking up an item that cost a tenner.”
PC Read joined the Thames Valley Police in 2008 and was based in Reading.
He served with the Royal Signals for five and a half years before joining the Cambridgeshire Police Department.
Pc Read has been accused of violating two professional standards of unquestionable conduct and of honesty and integrity.
The hearing, which has been scheduled for two days, continues.