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PSNI officer Linda Totten found guilty of shoplifting

Linda Totten, pictured at a previous court appearance, was found guilty yesterday. Picture by Alan Lewis/ PhotopressBelfast

A PSNI officer was yesterday found guilty of two counts of shoplifting.

Linda Totten (50), with an address given as PSNI Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh had denied the charges dating back almost four years.

But during a retrial at Dungannon Crown Court, a jury yesterday unanimously found the police sergeant guilty in less than an hour.

The court had been shown CCTV images of the police officer with trolley loads of shopping in Asda in Enniskillen on two dates in December 2013.

On both occasions, the footage showed a small box containing other goods on top of the trolley.

The court heard that in the second shoplifting incident, goods to the value of £156.81 were stolen. The amount in the first theft remained unknown.

When challenged by staff, Totten claimed she had paid for the bulk of the shopping and only needed to pay for those items in the box.

Defence barristers claimed that shortcomings and failures in the prosecution case regarding the CCTV evidence were "so severe that you cannot possibly convict".

But the prosecution said Totten was a "bluffer" who carried out "two brazen and bold thefts...with the expectation that she would be believed".

Totten first stood trial earlier this year, but it ended in a hung jury. However, yesterday Totten was found guilty in less than an hour.

She made no reaction to the verdict. Totten was released on continuing bail ahead of sentencing.

The sergeant now faces being stripped of her rank after a 15-year career.

In a statement last night, PSNI Deputy Chief Constable Drew Harris said: "We will deal with this in line with conduct regulations and the officer's duty status will be reviewed as part of this process".

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