Fraudulent officer regularly played rugby whilst off sick - The Evesham Observer

Fraudulent officer regularly played rugby whilst off sick

Evesham Editorial 1st Mar, 2024   0

A MISCONDUCT hearing has concluded a former West Mercia Police officer would have been sacked from the force had he not resigned following his conviction for fraud.

Ethan Aherne, 28, who was previously based in South Worcestershire, was found to have breached the standards of professional behaviour in relation to discreditable conduct and honest and integrity.

On September 29, 2023 following a guilty pleas Aherne was convicted of fraud by false representation at Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court.

Earlier today (March 1), the accelerated misconduct hearing heard how Aherne was off sick claiming he had a back injury but was in fact playing rugby on a regular basis.

During the investigation, officers from the force anti-corruption unit travelled to Cardiff where they saw him playing rugby.

His conviction resulted in a six month suspended sentence, an order to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work and pay back the £13,000 of police slary he obtained fraudulently during his sickness period.

Aherne resigned from the force in December 2022 after 15 months’ service.

The hearing was chaired by then temporary chief constable, Alex Murray. Following the outcome he said: “Ethan Aherne’s deception was calculated and totally immoral.

“He exploited and abused the welfare systems in place within the force to support officers and staff who have genuine physical health issues.

“He also betrayed all the hard working officers of West Mercia Police, taking his pay check whilst they would be engaged in work serving victims of crime that he should have been doing.

“I’d like to thank the team in the anti-corruption unit who led the investigation into Aherne, and secured evidence which was instrumental in securing the criminal convictions against him.

“Officers like Aherne have no place in policing.”

Aherne will be added to the College of Policing’s Barred List banning him from working for a UK police service in the future.

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