Ex-West Midlands PC lied about fictional girlfriend’s cancer death to get time off work

The panel ruled 21-year old PC Harry Sarkar (pictured) who has now been placed on the College of Policing's barred list, would have been dismissed, had he not already resigned. Credit: West Midlands Police

A former West Midlands police officer invented a fictional girlfriend and claimed she had died of cancer to get time off work, a misconduct hearing heard.

It ruled 21-year old PC Harry Sarkar, who has now been placed on the College of Policing's barred list, would have been dismissed, had he not already resigned.

Sarkar was given an enhanced flexible working pattern over a prolonged period by supervisors after he told them he was supporting his sick partner.

The panel heard how in April last year, he was given three days bereavement leave after informing his inspector that she had sadly passed away.

However, suspicions only arose due to his odd demeanour when he returned to work, where it was later established he had made the whole story up.

PC Sarkar then admitted he had lied because he needed time off work for unrelated personal reasons.

In a misconduct hearing earlier today, it was ruled Sarkar would have been dismissed had he not already resigned

In a statement, the force said: "We expect the highest standards from all our officers. The student officer, who joined the force in August 2020, resigned from the force on 1 March this year, but the misconduct proceedings continued anyway."

At the misconduct hearing today (11 August), Chief Constable Sir David Thompson ruled that the officer would have been dismissed for discreditable conduct and breaches of standards of honesty and integrity.

He said: “Honesty and integrity are essential for all police officers.

“This was not a case in which an investigation was compromised or where police powers were used in bad faith. However, lying about the serious ill-health or death of a partner raises worrying character traits.

“The public would not expect this from an officer and would be concerned over the obvious odious nature of the misrepresentation.

“Over a protracted period he maintained a story about a fictional relationship where the other party was suffering from cancer and later died. The untruths were repeated and over a sustained period.

“It was a significant abuse of trust of colleagues and supervisors.

“The public rightly expect officers to be truthful at all times, and PC Sarkar fell well short of that.”

Although PC Sarkar resigned earlier this year, the decision means he will be placed on the College of Policing’s barred list, banning him from working in the police ever again.