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Ex police officer sells house to repay £100k in fraud wages

Police officer jailed for claiming £100,000 while telling bosses he was too injured to work after he was caught because his phone tracked him walking 10,000 steps a day sells his house to repay the taxpayers’ cash

  • Matthew Littlefair, 37, had a minor back injury following a crash in October 2017
  • Littlefair claimed he could not continue to work as a police officer due to pain
  • Dorset Police offered him the chance to work from home which he rejected
  • Covert surveillance found Littlefair was exaggerating the extent of his injuries 

A disgraced police officer who faked an injury to claim more than £100,000 wages has been ordered to pay his ill-gotten gains back.

Matthew Littlefair, 37, was jailed for two years and three months in November 2021 for fraud.

He had claimed that a back injury he suffered in a minor car crash ruled him unfit for work between October 2017 and July 2020.

He said the ‘rear end shunt’ had left him in chronic pain and unable to even lift a kettle and he claimed full pay and other benefits.

Former Dorset police officer Matthew Littlefair, pictured in November 2021, was jailed for two years and three months having fraudulently claimed more than £100,000 in wages 

But he was caught out when colleagues spotted him walking his dog, playing football with his children, jogging and riding a bike

When investigators examined his phone they found he had repeatedly been recorded doing 10,000 steps a day – the equivalent of five miles

But he was caught out when colleagues spotted him walking his dog, playing football with his children, jogging and riding a bike.

When investigators examined his phone they found he had repeatedly been recorded doing 10,000 steps a day – the equivalent of five miles.

In interview Littlefair claimed he had been able to exercise by taking lots of painkillers but officers found bags of unopened prescription drugs and blood tests showed no trace of the medication in his system.

He resigned from Dorset Police prior to being sentenced for fraud.

But a police misconduct proceedings found him guilty of gross misconduct and if he had still been a serving officer he would have been dismissed.

A Proceeds of Crime Act hearing was held at Bournemouth Crown Court to determine how much money he should pay back to the taxpayer.

The court heard the total benefit figure from Littlefair’s offending was £111,226.56.

He has since sold his home so the full amount could be repaid.

Littlefair became a police officer in 2008 and transferred from Avon and Somerset to Dorset Police in 2016.

After the crash in 2017 Littlefair reported himself sick and unfit for duty.

Dorset Police offered him reduced hours and the chance to work from home, but he refused complaining he was in such severe pain he could not carry out his tasks.

He was eventually offered ill health early retirement in 2019 when the force judged he would never be able to fully return to the job.

A Proceeds of Crime Act hearing was held at Bournemouth Crown Court to determine how much money he should pay back to the taxpayer. The court heard the total benefit figure from Littlefair’s offending was £111,226.56. He has since sold his home so the full amount could be repaid

But instead of accepting this payout he appealed, claiming ‘his pain was so serious that he wouldn’t be able to be employed ever again’.

In 2020 a covert investigation was launched and a surveillance team was deployed as part of the investigation.

They witnessed him playing football with his children at their home in Alderholt, Hampshire, and on several occasions they witnessed him drive to remote locations to walk his dog or go running.

Detective Constable Scott Brimicombe, of Dorset Police’s economic crime unit, said: ‘Matthew Littlefair’s offending saw him fraudulently claiming his publicly funded salary for a significant period of time while he was claiming to be unfit for work.

‘We are determined to use the legislation available to us under the Proceeds of Crime Act to ensure that wherever possible offenders are forced to repay the funds they have obtained through fraudulent means.’

Superintendent Paul Kessell, Dorset Police’s head of professional standards said: ‘This was a totally unacceptable crime that in no way represents the ethics of the police service or the thousands of hard working staff and officers who protect the public every day.

‘We fully support the court’s decision and ruling.’

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