Police officer faces court over charges of misconduct and fraud

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A NORTH Yorkshire Police officer who allegedly lied to her colleagues when she told them her daughter had cancer before using donated money to fund her other girl’s showjumping career has appeared in court.

Prosecutors say Rachel Hewitt, 39, told her employers and colleagues that her daughter had leukaemia and was receiving treatment.

At Hull Crown Court yesterday, Hewitt, of Pontefract, West Yorkshire, spoke only to confirm her name as the court was told her colleagues had raised money for her “at various times”.

Judge Jeremy Richardson QC, labelled the case “very unusual”. Mark Kendall, prosecuting, said Hewitt faced a charge of misconduct in a public office and two fraud allegations.

Judge Richardson said to Mr Kendall: “This seems a very unusual case. Can you tell me the essence of it?”

The prosecutor replied: “The essence of this is that initially for a period of approximately two years the defendant misled her employers, North Yorkshire Police, and colleagues.

“She said her daughter was suffering from leukaemia and receiving treatment.

“She received time off work, a career break and her colleagues at various times raised funds for her.

“The Crown says that none of that was true, and the time off assisted her daughter’s riding ambitions.”

Judge Richardson told the crown court he recommended the case against Hewitt should be heard before a circuit judge.

He added: “It is a curious charge, a very unusual case by the sounds of it.”

Hewitt was wearing glasses and was dressed in black trousers with a beige shirt and black coat when she appeared before the court yesterday.

The police officer was granted bail and told to return to Hull Crown Court for the next hearing in her case, which will take place on April 3.