A police officer who stole a £30 kitchen cabinet from Ikea and food from Asda after she had called in sick has been sacked.
Gemma Talbot, who managed dangerous sexual offenders in the forces public protection unit, was dismissed without notice at a misconduct hearing at Balsall Heath police station.
The 31-year-old mum from Marston Green, West Midlands, stole £91.85 of food from the Asda store in Chelmsley Wood and a £30 cabinet from the Ikea store in Coventry on October 8 last year.
She was convicted of two counts of theft at Birmingham Magistrates Court on November 16 where she received a conditional discharge and was ordered to pay 300 costs.
The Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, David Thompson, found the former child protection officer guilty of gross misconduct, but acknowledged that the lone parent – who is also a carer for her mother – had faced difficulties in her personal life.
However he ignored a plea she made to keep the job she loved and sacked the officer adding that her convictions meant that she could not continue in her role as a police officer.
The officer, who joined in 2006, did not attend the hearing, but Police Federation representative Sarah Stevens-Burns, said on her behalf that she was “overwhelmingly embarrassed” for her “inexplicable behaviour.”
The letter said that she had been left to bring up her child after her partner left her in 2010 and had been a carer for her sick mother.
It said: “I was a single mother, working full time and looking after my unwell mother and I was really struggling.
“My actions are completely inexplicable and the embarrassment is overwhelming, I wholeheartedly apologise. I am a genuinely good person and I have let myself and the organisation down.
“This type of incident will never happen again.
“I plead with you to allow me to continue in the job that I love.”
Chief Constable Thompson said: “Matters of dishonesty cut to the very heart of the role of a police officer. They profoundly undermine public trust in policing.
“I accept the officer has had a very difficult and challenging personal life. But this is such serious gross misconduct and the nature of it is such that it does require the serious sanction of dismissal without notice.”