Police officer Christopher Hawkins jailed two years for fraud

Christopher Hawkins. PIC: Norfolk Constabulary.

Christopher Hawkins. PIC: Norfolk Constabulary. - Credit: Archant

A police officer with a gambling addiction who dishonestly obtained £85,000 by forging his wife’s name on loan applications and other documents has been jailed for two years.

Christopher Hawkins, of Dorchester Road, Bury St Edmunds, was a detective constable with Norfolk Constabulary at the time of the offences which were committed over a six year period, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Andrew Shaw, prosecuting, told the court that as a result of her husband’s dishonesty the credit rating of his his wife Samantha, who is a police inspector, had been reduced and could be forced to sell the matrimonial home.

Hawkins, 47, formerly of Marham, Norfolk, admitted four offences of fraud by false representation earlier this year and sentence was adjourned until today for the couple’s financial situation to be clarified following their divorce last month.

Jailing Hawkins Judge John Devaux said Hawkin’s wife had been left considerably out of pocket as a result of his dishonesty.

“These offences were committed to fund what became a gambling addiction. The offences started when there were considerable strains on your marriage which caused you to behave out of character,” said the judge.

“The way you behaved and reacted was on any view extreme,” he added.

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The court heard that Hawkins and his wife had married in 1993 and had two children .

The relationship broke down in February 2012 and Hawkins moved out of the family home.

Subsequently Mrs Hawkins received a letter from a finance company relating to a missed payment on an £8,000 loan which her husband had taken out without her knowledge after forging her signature.

He appeared in court last September and admitted an offence of fraud by false representation in 2012 and was given a 12-month community order and 200 hours unpaid work.

In July last year Mrs Hawkins discovered that in 2007 her husband had forged her signature on an application to extend the mortgage on their home by £25,000 and that two years later had obtained a further £24,000 in the same way.

In 2010 he forged her signature to get a £23,000 loan and in 2013 he forged her signature on an endowment policy surrender form to obtain £13,000.

Mr Shaw said significant sums of the money had been paid on to a Betfair account in Hawkins’ name.

Charles Myatt for Hawkins said his client was genuinely remorseful for what he had done and felt ashamed of what he’d put his wife and children through.

He said Hawkins had started gambling as a means of escape from the pressures he had been under but this had developed out of control into an addiction.

He had been receiving help to combat his addiction and was unlikely to behave in the same way again.

Mr Myatt said Hawkins was dismissed from the police force last year and was currently unemployed.

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