Police officer fired after shoplifting from pharmacy

Lloyds Pharmacy, Tring
Lloyds Pharmacy, Tring

A police constable has been dismissed from the force after she admitted shoplifting in her home town.

PC Julie Hennessy, who was nearing the end of a five-year career break from Herts Police at the time, stole a tester pot of eye shadow from Lloyds Pharmacy on Tring High Street on August 25, 2015.

A tearful PC Hennessy, who worked in Dacorum, admitted gross misconduct during the hearing at Herts Police HQ on Monday (February 15) – the first time such a case was heard in public.

Chief Constable Andy Bliss heard how the mother-of-five admitted the theft before handing over the make-up when officers questioned her on September 11, 2015.

She was handed a £90 fixed penalty notice for theft, which she paid in full.

The following day, she hand-delivered a letter of apology to the pharmacy, saying she was ‘deeply sorry for the trouble she had caused’.

PC Paul Coxhall, who represented his colleague at the hearing, said PC Hennessy had been the sole carer for both her mother and father, while also having family difficulties at home.

PC Coxhall said: “PC Hennessy received no support while looking after her parents, and this was an incredibly difficult and distressing time for her.”

Her mother died in summer 2014 but she only sought support from her GP in April 2015, who prescribed her medication for depression.

PC Coxhall said: “The anniversary of her mother’s death last summer hit her harder than she thought it would.

“It was the perfect storm. She cannot explain what she did – there was no sense in it.”

Speaking at the hearing, PC Hennessy – who joined the force in March 2007 – said: “I want to apologise – I am so deeply sorry. I was under a lot of stress and I’ve never done anything like it before or since.”

Chief Constable Bliss said it was with ‘great regret’ that he dismissed PC Hennessy, as she had been ‘an able and efficient police officer’.

However, despite her previous and subsequent good behaviour and character, Mr Bliss said the public ‘demand and deserve’ the highest standards from their police officers.

He decided that with a fine for stealing, PC Hennessy’s ability to be an effective police officer would be compromised, and the dismissal was necessary.