Ex-detective constable appears in court charged with five allegations of fraud totalling £110,000

Benefit cheat spared jail

Benefit cheat spared jail - Credit: PA

A former police officer has appeared in court charged with a string of frauds totalling £110,000.

Christopher Hawkins, formerly of Dorchester Road, Bury St Edmunds, was a detective constable with Norfolk Constabulary at the time of the alleged offences.

The 46-year-old made his first appearance on the charges before South East Suffolk Magistrates Court in Ipswich yesterday.

Hawkins is accused of taking out loans in the name of his wife who is also a Norfolk police officer without her knowledge.

The alleged frauds are said to have occurred over a seven-year period.

During a hearing lasting less than five minutes prosecutor Colette Harper told the court the total amount of money involved in the allegations was £110,389.

One of charges alleges that between January 1, 2007, and February 10, 2007, Hawkins committed fraud by making a false representation to the Alliance and Leicester or Santander UK PLC which he knew to be untrue or misleading. It was that Samantha Hawkins had signed an application form for a further loan of £25,000 attached to a mortgage.

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The second charge relates to a similar allegation involving a further mortgage loan application of £25,000 to the same banks in his wife’s name. This is said to have occurred between January 30, 2009, and February 20, 2009.

The third accusation is alleged to have taken place between July 30, 2010, and August 14, 2010, and involved another mortgage loan of £23,199 from the banks.

Hawkins is also accused of defrauding Prudential Assurance Company between August 19 and August 31 last year. This involved the signing of a surrender form, purportedly by his wife, agreeing to the surrender of an endowment policy valued at £13,128.

The final charge states that between October 27 and December 31 last year Hawkins surrendered an endowment police originally taken out with Co-operative Insurance Society in the sum of £12,000 and then paying his wife £6,000 when it was said to have been half the value of the encashment. However, the surrender value of the policy was alleged to be £24,062.

Hawkins, who told the court his address had changed to Back Lane, Martham, Norfolk, heard the allegations were so serious that they would be sent to crown court.

The former officer did not enter any plea to the charges.

District Judge Celia Dawson committed Hawkins’ case to Ipswich Crown Court for a plea hearing on December 11.

He was told any trial was likely to take place between April 13 and May 22.

Hawkins was released on unconditional bail.

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