Here at YBMW, we love all things ironic. So on a crappy Monday we bring you this little gem involving a police officer who was tasked to stop Bristol shoplifters but was caught shoplifting two video games himself.
Peter Cokell was permanently stationed at The Mall, Cribbs Causeway, and had an unblemished record as a PC, yet ironically enough he was caught on CCTV in HMV committing the crime he had spent six years trying to stamp out.
The 34-year-old, from Wick, South Gloucestershire, was found guilty of theft by District Judge David Parsons after a three-day trial. Cokell picked PlayStation 3 games Call of Duty: World at War and Kill Zone 2 and hid them under his kevlar body armor before smuggling them out of the store on April 7.
HMV’s loss prevention officer at the time, Gary Sutton, noticed the officer browsing. Having known him professionally for several years, he recognized him right away and noticed that he was acting “suspiciously.” As a result Sutton continued to monitor him.
From the footage, shown at Frome Magistrates on the final day of the trial, Cokell had carried the two games in his police hat to a redundant Virgin Media desk at the back of the store. He talked briefly to a security guard before apparently hiding the games – worth £74.98 – and walking out through the store’s security barriers without the alarms going off.
Cokell denied the allegations throughout, but District Judge David Parsons was convinced he was guilty. He said: “I do know the games certainly left the site, having seen the evidence of the CCTV and the evidence of Mr Sutton.”
Cokell, who was supported throughout the trial by his wife, will be sentenced on November 27.