Police officer took £34,000 from lonely widower to spend on BMW and holidays

A police officer swindled more than £34,000 out of a lonely widower to splash cash on a BMW, jewellery and lavish holidays abroad.

Fatou Mendy-Sambou, 28, has been struck off from Gwent Police after her disciplinary hearing was told of her "inappropriate relationship" with the 87-year-old man.

He even helped her with cash to train as a police officer.

But she took thousands from him to fund luxury getaways, a flash motor and other treats, the disciplinary hearing was told.

It heard Mendy-Sambou first met the married pensioner while working as a carer for his wife in Newport, south Wales, in 2014.

But when his wife died in 2015, Mendy-Sambou visited his home and sparked regular contact with him on the phone and going out for meals.

The hearing was told Mendy-Sambou got including weekly payments of £50, a £2,000 holiday to Paris, flights to Gambia, £2,700 for a Master’s degree and £9,000 for a BMW.

She also was also given a deposit for a house – and £750 towards a police training course for a new career by the widower identified only as Mr JB.

The former carer also had a £320 Michael Kors watch for her birthday and a silver necklace from Sri Lanka, along with a washing machine, cooker and even a fishtank.

And, after gaining her Master’s, Mendy-Sambou became a probationary constable for Gwent Police in March 2018.

But in August of that year, the relationship came to light and Mendy-Sambou resigned.

In the case, brought by the presenting officer Kate Connell, the force said: "You accepted money and gifts from him amounting to many thousands of pounds and engaged in an inappropriate relationship with him.

"When questioned about these events you initially lied about your contact with JB, dishonestly inventing false stories about the sources of your money to try and conceal the extent of your financial gain.

"You did this because you knew that your actions in forming and exploiting the relationship with JB were wholly wrong.

"Your actions in initiating and developing an inappropriate relationship with JB amounted to an abuse of trust and lacked integrity in breach of the standard of Honesty and Integrity.

"Your conduct as a whole, if known, would bring serious discredit on the police service and undermine public confidence in it, in breach of the standard of Discreditable Conduct. Your conduct is so serious as to amount to gross misconduct."

The hearing at Gwent Police HQ in Cwmbran, south Wales, was told she did it to hide the extent of her financial gain.

Susan Davies, chairwoman of the panel, said: "We are agreed that Miss Mendy-Sambou, had she continued to be a police officer, would have been dismissed without notice."

Maria Henry, representing the former PC, said: "She admits she behaved in the manner alleged."

The hearing was told Mendy-Sambou admitted that her actions amounted to gross misconduct and her name will now be added to the police barred list.

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