PCSO, 26, avoids jail over ‘idiotic’ bid to con £1,600 out of her force after she ran up credit card debt when she lost her previous job as air stewardess in Covid pandemic
- Ellisha Wilson tried to dupe Merseyside Police into giving her emergency pay
- The 26-year-old said she had not been paid her wages even though she had
- Wilson, of Ashton-in-Makerfield, near Wigan, got into debt in her previous job
- She finally admitted she had lied when colleagues produced proof from bank
- Defence claim initially a mistake and she maintained lie out of embarrassment
A PCSO lost her job after she tried to con £1,600 out of her force by claiming she had not been paid her wages.
Ellisha Wilson tried to dupe Merseyside Police into giving her the cash as an emergency payment after getting into chronic debt through her previous job as an air stewardess.
When the 26-year-old’s plan was foiled, senior police colleagues gave her numerous chances to come clean but she maintained the lie, and even claimed the money she was owed had been transferred to Jamaica.
Wilson, of Ashton-in-Makerfield, near Wigan, finally admitted she had lied when officers, who did not want to see her prosecuted, produced proof from her bank.
Ellisha Wilson tried to dupe Merseyside Police into giving her the cash as an emergency payment
Wilson admitted fraud by false representation and was sentenced to a 16 week 7am to 7pm curfew, 20 days of rehabilitative activity with the probation service and was ordered to pay £180 in costs and a victim surcharge.
Sefton Magistrates Court heard that the missing money has since been accounted for.
Amie Goulding, prosecuting, told the court: ‘This lady was a community support officer for Merseyside Police. In September of last year she alleged that she had not been paid her wages, £1598.82.
‘As a result she was issued with an emergency payment of that money with the agreement that if she had in fact been paid she would not be paid the following month.
‘She realised she had not been paid in October so she contacted the pay department and continued to claim that she had not received the pay for September. They send another further payment of £1,598.82.’
She said that Wilson’s immediate supervisor had tried to help by ‘giving her numerous opportunities to provide details to payroll.’
‘Effectively, Wilson had received two lots of pay for September,’ Miss Goulding said.
‘There were numerous attempts to continue with the deception. She handed in wrong documents and claimed that the money that had been paid had been taken from her account and transferred to Jamaica.
‘A production order from her bank account was then produced in order to prove that she was lying. It was at that point she admitted she had received the wages. It is a breach of trust. Merseyside Police relies on the honesty and integrity of its employees.
When the 26-year-old’s plan was foiled, colleagues gave her numerous chances to come clean but she maintained the lie, and claimed the money had been transferred to Jamaica
‘It was ongoing in relation to the lies that were told and the amount of investigation that was required.’
Defence solicitor Vicky Balenski said that Wilson, who had no previous convictions, had genuinely believed she had not been paid and that once she realised she had, she continued to lie out of embarrassment.
‘She had got into debt after the airlines she was working for previously went bust during the pandemic,’ she said.
‘When she was working as an air hostess, she had a credit card on which she would put all of her expenses. When she got paid, she paid the expenses off. Things spiralled when the two companies she worked for went into liquidation.
‘She was unable to pay for her credit card. She then became a PCSO. She got paid but when she looked in her bank there was nothing left.
‘She genuinely believed that she had not been paid and she made the report.
‘But then she just felt embarrassed that she had said she had not been paid and felt she was in too deep to basically turn back.
‘It shows a lack of thinking skills and consequential thinking skills. With respect, I would say she is quite immature.’
She added that Wilson’s wages were stopped when the lie was uncovered.
‘In fact she wasn’t asked to pay any money back and that was the end of her career as a PCSO,’ she said.
‘Since that time she has set up her own business and is looking at becoming a bus driver. This conviction may have an impact on that.
‘She has been supported by her family but it did put a burden on the relationships in her family. This is out of character for Ms Wilson and something that the family have never had to deal with before.
‘This has been going on for some time and he has caused Ms Wilson some considerable distress. She is glad that the matter will be concluded today.’
Sentencing Wilson, District Judge Wendy Lloyd told her: ‘Like many people in the pandemic you found that your finances were lacking. That was the same for many people in all sorts of employment from all walks of life.
‘I find it very difficult to believe that you did not think that you had been paid. I imagine that your guilty plea reflects that.
‘You knew that there was a big hole in your finances. You are an intelligent woman – I know that you are an intelligent woman because I have read the probation report.
‘You knew that your wages would not have put you back in the black, you would still be in the red.
‘You play acted. Nobody wanted this to come to a criminal matter but you just persisted ‘I have not been paid’, even when you knew you had been paid – which I think you realised at the earliest stage.’
‘It is clear that you got yourself in a difficult situation and you did not know how to deal with it. You chose dishonesty as the way out and continued with that dishonesty even when receiving help and support. The rehabilitation days with probation service will help keep you from making similar idiotic and dishonest decisions.’