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Policeman says scanning carrot barcode instead of doughnuts was ‘honest mistake’

Written by on 25/11/2020

A police officer who scanned a 7p barcode for carrots instead of a £9.95 barcode for Krispy Kreme doughnuts has said it was an honest mistake.

PC Simon Read told a misconduct hearing he did not realise he scanned the carrot barcode twice at a Tesco Extra’s self-service checkout in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire.

He accepted he failed to scan the barcode for the doughnuts, which he was buying along with carrots, a sandwich and a drink at about 11.30am on 10 February – but said it was not on purpose.

Asked if he intended to steal the treats, he told the hearing: “Absolutely not, and I’m horrified we’re in this situation here today.”

Krispy Kreme donut cabinet in the Tesco Extra store in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. Cambridgeshire Police officer Simon Read is facing charges of attempting to to buy a 9.95 box of 12 Krispy Kreme donuts for seven pence by sticking a barcode for carrots on them and going through a self-service checkout at the Tesco Extra store.
Image: The Krispy Kreme doughnut cabinet in the Tesco Extra store in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire

The Cambridgeshire Police officer said he was buying the doughnuts for colleagues as a “cake fine” – a “common practice” among police officers in which they allegedly punish each other in a “light-hearted” way.

He said “cake fines” were given to people if they were having a bad day – or joining or leaving a department.

PC Read said the carrots were for his sergeant who was on a diet, and he thought it “would be funny” for them to be in a Krispy Kreme paper bag.

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He said he put the carrot barcode onto the doughnut tray as it would have ruined the joke if he stuck it on the paper bag.

“I simply scanned where I believed the barcodes were and placed them down [in the bagging area],” he said.

He said he wishes he had checked the screen and “paid more attention”, adding that he was “embarrassed” by what had happened.

A box of Krispy Kreme donuts at a Tesco Extra store in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. Cambridgeshire Police officer Simon Read is facing charges of attempting to to buy a 9.95 box of 12 Krispy Kreme donuts for seven pence by sticking a barcode for carrots on them and going through a self-service checkout at the Tesco Extra store.
Image: PC Read says he was buying the doughnuts as a ‘cake fine’ for his colleagues. File pic

Lawyer Mark Ley-Morgan, putting the misconduct case, said: “He’s maintained from the outset this is all a horrible mistake, of him failing to pay attention while scanning his items.

“We say this is very unlikely to be the truth.”

“He would have had to be standing there with his eyes closed not to see what was happening on the screen in front of him,” he said.

He said PC Read would have had to look at and tap the screen to check-out.

He continued: “It beggars belief that he wouldn’t at some point have seen he was being charged just over £4, knowing some moments before he picked up an item that cost a tenner.”

PC Read is accused of breaching two professional standards, of discreditable conduct, and of honesty and integrity.

The hearing at the East of England Showground in Peterborough, scheduled for two days, continues.

 Sky News

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