A former police woman has been jailed for 18 months, for falsely claiming her daughter had leukaemia so she could take her showjumping instead.

Rachel Hewitt, mother of successful young showjumpers Jessica and Natasha, was yesterday (Monday 30 October) jailed for 18 months.

Mrs Hewitt, of South Elmsall, West Yorkshire, admitted misconduct in a public office and fraud earlier this year at Hull Crown Court.

She said her 15-year-old daughter Natasha was undergoing chemotherapy, so she could taketime off work from her role as a traffic officer for North Yorkshire Police.

The 39-year-old said she needed time off as her daughter was ill, but in fact was taking them to showjumping competitions. She was given compassionate leaves and special shifts.

This went on for two years – from January 2009 until October 2011, when she was arrested. During the period she took five months off sick in total and 10 days compassionate leave.

Judge Simon Jack, sitting at Hull Crown Court said she had shown an “extreme breach of trust”.

In May 2010 Mrs Hewitt said Natasha was in hospital with pneumonia but was in fact competing at Port Royal Showground.

The judge added: “Your actions have undermined the trust the police officers place in each other and they will no doubt undermine, to some extent at least, the trust members of the public place in the police.

“If a police officer has been seen to be telling a pack of lies, even if not directly to the public, that clearly undermines the faith the public have in the police.

“Nobody thought for a moment somebody would lie about something so serious, so emotive as the health of their child. That’s why you got away with it for so long.”