Northamptonshire Police firearms officer guilty of shoplifting sex lubricant

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A FIREARMS officer with Northamptonshire Police ran from a store detective when shoplifting a packet of stolen sex lubricant.

Pc Neil Bull, aged 37, was suspected of having previously stolen bottles of drink and canisters of Maxi-Muscle body building supplement from Boots in Market Square, Northampton when he was recognised by security officer Matthew Pharoah on December 4, 2010.

Northampton Crown Court heard security staff had reported separate allegations of shoplifting by a man matching his description on September 30, 2010 and on November 5, 2010 when bottles of drink and tubs of protein powder were stolen.

Andrew Copeland, prosecuting, said that on the day the officer was arrested, CCTV cameras captured him open a bottle of Lucozade and drink it while walking round the store and then select a packet of Durex lubrication gel and put it in his pocket.

He said: “The security tag to the gel was later found in the shop and the item in his pocket. We say the packet was taken and the plastic tag removed. He then exited the store and the alarm did not go off. It is for you (the jury) to decide how it was removed.

“Mr Pharoah was outside on his break having a coffee and on earlier occasions he had watched the CCTV from September 30 and from November 5.

“When he had watched them, he reported the thefts to the police. So when he was outside the store on December 4, he said he recognised a person, in company with a lady and two teenage children, as the person that he believed had stolen the items on September 30 and November 5.”

The jury heard Mr Pharoah contacted the police and town centre CCTV operators for assistance and then followed Bull to another shop.

Mr Copeland added: “The defendant looked towards him and then ran. At one stage, he was stopped and said ‘I’m a copper’ and then ran off and got to the Beckets Park area where he was ultimately detained by the police.

“He said ‘I know what I have done. It’s in there’ and indicated with his head towards his pocket.”

The jury later heard statements from two of his colleagues who said he had previously sold them body building supplement for £20, half the retail value.

Bull, of Wollaston, is currently suspended.

He had denied the three charges but was found unanimously guilty of all.