Police officer ‘used fake emails to order free pints while watching England win’

A police officer used fake email addresses to order dozens of free pints of lager he watched England’s Euro 2020 win over Germany, a misconduct hearing has found.

Despite there being a one-per-person limit, Paul Elliott and his friends exploited a Heineken promotional offer in a Sheffield pub to secure 26 pints between them, a disciplinary panel heard.

Elliott, who had three years’ service, would have been sacked if he had not already resigned as a Humberside officer, a tribunal ruled on Thursday after saying his dishonesty amounted to gross misconduct.

The former officer also failed to disclose a speeding offence and that he had been identified as a suspect in a criminal investigation when he made an application to transfer to the Derbyshire force, the panel heard.

A hearing in Goole, East Yorkshire, was told Elliott was with friends in the Loxley Sports Bar and Grill, in the Malin Bridge area of Sheffield, on June 29 2021, when he took advantage of a Heineken offer of a free pint to anyone providing an email address and other personal details to a table service ordering app.

Chelsea Brooke-Ward, for the prosecuting authority, said Elliott realised the app did not verify the email addresses provided and ordered multiple pints with made up details.

Ms Brooke-Ward said Elliott and his friends were thought to have received 26 free lagers between them during the evening “despite being well aware it was one free pint”.

The barrister said the former officer denied, in a statement given to detectives, an allegation he secured 10 free pints for himself and more for his friends.

She said Heineken eventually realised there was a problem with the app verifying email addresses and withdrew the offer.

Ms Brooke-Ward told the tribunal the bar’s manager told investigators it was exceptionally busy due to the match, with around 300 people in the pub and takings of £4,000-plus in just two hours.

England’s Harry Kane after scoring his side’s second goal of the game during the Uefa Euro 2020 round of 16 match against Germany at Wembley
England’s Harry Kane after scoring his side’s second goal of the game during the Uefa Euro 2020 round of 16 match against Germany at Wembley (PA)

She told the hearing Elliott filled in a vetting form in May 2021 relating to his proposed transfer to the Derbyshire force but failed to include key details, including how he had been a suspect in a criminal investigation.

The details of the probe were not disclosed during the hearing but the panel was told no action was taken against Elliott.

Ms Brooke-Ward said the former constable also failed to disclose a speeding ticket and that he had been issued a final written warning for a disciplinary matter, the nature of which was also not disclosed on Thursday.

Elliott did not turn up to the hearing at the former Goole Magistrates’ Court.

In his absence, the panel of three said his behaviour breached the standards of professional behaviour relating to honesty, integrity and discreditable conduct and amounted to gross misconduct.

Heineken bottles
Heineken eventually realised there was a problem with the app verifying email addresses and withdrew the offer (Clynt Garnham Food & Drink/Alamy/PA)

The panel’s independent chairman, Nick Hawkins, said Elliott would have been dismissed if he was still serving.

He will be banned from being a police officer in the future, Mr Hawkins said.

He added: “Such behaviour is discreditable and undermines public trust and confidence in policing.

“The public have a right to expect police officers to behave with honesty and integrity both on and off duty.

“Former Pc Elliott was dishonest on two separate occasions within a short time frame.”