Cop facing sack for 'switching price tag on 12 Krispy Kreme donuts to just 7p at Tesco' says it was 'honest mistake'

A COP accused of deliberately underpaying for a box of 12 Krispy Kreme doughnuts on duty claimed today that it was an "honest mistake".

PC Simon Read, 37, is accused of using self-service scales to weigh a bag of carrots then using the price-sticker on a cardboard tray containing the treats to save £10.

The officer is said to have entered a Tesco Extra store in Wisbech, Cambs., on February 10 this year, in uniform – and paid just 7p for the box of doughnuts, rather than £9.95.

But at the opening of his misconduct hearing yesterday (Weds), PC Read claimed that he had not intentionally scanned the wrong bar code, blaming "human error".

He said he had placed the white barcode sticker for the carrots onto the side of the doughnut box in order to free up his hand – and attempted to scan the box twice, to scan both barcodes.

He claims he placed the box of doughnuts in the bagging area, believing it had scanned, and then proceeded to pay for his shopping – without paying attention to the total price on screen.


PC Read told the panel: "I absolutely did not intend to steal that box of doughnuts.

"I am horrified to be in this situation I am in today, and I am embarrassed because this is not something I usually would have done.

"I have wasted everybody's time in being here today. I have caused myself and my family a lot of stress, a lot of heartache.

"It has been a long nine months not working when I should have been."

Opening the hearing, barrister Mark Ley-Morgan said that PC Read accepted all the other alleged facts set out relating to his actions in the Tesco Extra store that day.

I am horrified to be in this situation I am in today, and I am embarrassed because this is not something I usually would have done.

He said: "Did he intend to scan the barcode for the carrots, or did he make an honest mistake, as he says, and intend to scan the barcode for the doughnuts?"

The panel was shown CCTV footage of PC Read's movements in the Tesco store that day, from when he entered the store shortly before 11.30am.

He was seen selecting the dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts, before walking round to the fruit and veg section, selecting two carrots, and placing them in a small, white Krispy Kreme bag.

PC Read then printed out a barcode sticker for the carrots and moved off camera – when he is accused of switching the price over.

He said: "I had placed the carrots in the Krispy Kreme bag to disguise the fact that the contents of the bag were part of a joke.

"In the same way, I did not wish to place the sticker on to the bag and effectively signpost what was inside, and therefore give the gag away."

After selecting all of his items, PC Read approached the self-service tills at 11.30am, and began to scan what he was carrying.

CCTV footage shows him scanning the carrot barcode – affixed to the side of the Krispy Kreme box – first, and placing the bag of carrots in the bagging area.

He then scanned a sandwich and the drink, before appearing to finally attempt to scan the box of doughnuts again, to pay for the twelve sweet treats.

PC Read said: "I didn't check the screen to see if the doughnuts had scanned through.

He added: "I did not feel I needed to check the price, as I was subconsciously aware of the fact that the transaction was going to be within the contactless payment limit.

"I am not suggesting the price was not on the screen. I simply didn't look, as I was following the instructions on how to pay."

PC Read added that a receipt automatically printed after he had paid, and he took it with him – but believes he binned it on his way out of the shop, or shortly afterwards.He told the panel that the carrots were purchased for one of his colleagues at Wisbech police station, as part of a running joke between the two of them.

The hearing continues.

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