COP GUILTY OF £6,500 CAR SALE FRAUD

Of­fi­cer could lose job over ve­hi­cle scam

Evening Express (City Final) - - Front Page - BY DANNY MCKAY

A PO­LICE of­fi­cer was to­day fac­ing the prospect of los­ing his job after be­ing con­victed of fraud. Pc Michael Hether­ing­ton, who was found guilty fol­low­ing a trial at Ab­erdeen Sher­iff Court, pro­vided a fal­si­fied ser­vice his­tory for a sec­ond­hand car he was sell­ing for £6,500. The 27-year-old, who con­tin­ues to be de­ployed in a non-op­er­a­tional role within Po­lice Scot­land, had de­nied the of­fence, which Sher­iff Gra­ham Buchanan de­scribed as “a pretty brazen fraud”. Hether­ing­ton pre­tended the Vauxhall car had a full ser­vice his­tory, pre­dom­i­nantly by Peter Vardy, and that it had been ser­viced by the firm on April 27 2016. He also claimed its tim­ing belt and wa­ter pump had been re­placed in March 2015. The court heard the vic­tim had sold the car on for a loss since this in­ci­dent, which hap­pened be­tween April 17 and July 3 2016. De­fence agent John Mcleod said Hether­ing­ton made it clear to the man he could walk away from the deal if he wasn’t happy, adding: “That’s not ev­i­dence of a fraud­ster at work.” Mr Mcleod said his client was in em­ploy­ment but “as a re­sult of this case, that em­ploy­ment will come to an end”. Sen­tenc­ing Hether­ing­ton, Sher­iff Buchanan said: “I recog­nise of course, as was dis­cussed with Mr Mcleod, that a lot of what might be called ‘wheel­ing and deal­ing’ might go on in re­la­tion to the pur­chase of a sec­ond­hand car. But the law does pro­hibit the mak­ing of false state­ments, even in that con­text of sec­ond-hand car sales. I have to take a very se­ri­ous view of the mat­ter.” Hether­ing­ton, whose ad­dress was given in court as care of Po­lice Scot­land, was fined £1,000 and or­dered to pay the man he sold the car to £732.22 in com­pen­sa­tion. Chief In­spec­tor Derek Hi­ley of Po­lice Scot­land’s pro­fes­sional stan­dards de­part­ment said: “We note the con­vic­tion and sen­tenc­ing re­sult at Ab­erdeen Sher­iff Court. Po­lice Scot­land ex­pects high stan­dards from of­fi­cers and staff. A re­port on the full cir­cum­stances will now be pre­pared for the con­sid­er­a­tion of the deputy chief con­sta­ble.”

Michael Hether­ing­ton leaves Ab­erdeen Sher­iff Court

Hether­ing­ton leaves court

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