Cost of Chief Constable's trip with girlfriend to watch detective play was taxpayer funded

Former chief constable of Cleveland Police Sean Price.

Former Detective Chief Inspector Heather Eastwood.

First published in News Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by

BUYING tickets for a murder mystery play as a present to celebrate your girlfriend’s birthday is not unusual - but using your corporate credit card to foot the bill is.

However, the former chief constable of Cleveland Police, Sean Price, did exactly that when he treated his partner and staff officer, Heather Eastwood, to a special night in the capital.

An overnight stay at The Hyatt Regency Hotel in London was booked for the pair, costing £216.64, using the chief constable’s corporate credit card to reserve the king-size room. The following day the former Detective Chief Inspector used her police credit card to clear the mini-bar bill.

According to documents revealed as part of the Operation Sacristy investigation, which was closed on Wednesday without any charges being laid against any of the ten people arrested, the trip was one of more than 25 overnight stays the pair shared.

The trip to the theatre coincided with meetings that Mr Price was due to attend as part of his duties as chief constable.

When Mr Price was interviewed about the incident that happened in March 2010 he handed over a prepared statement denying any wrongdoing and blaming the hotel payment on an innocent error.

His statement read: “When Heather and I were engaged in business activities we would be professional at all times and have separate rooms. We would have stayed in London that night in any event as we had meetings the next day but I wanted to book somewhere that was a bit nicer as a treat and so this was strictly a personal and social matter and should have been paid for from my own funds.

“The fact that it was paid for using my corporate credit card is simply a stupid and somewhat embarrassing error.”

The couple have sinced married.

The person who booked the tickets and hotel room, named as Subject M in the misconduct investigation which resulted in Mr Price’s sacking, denied having access to her boss’ personal bank details.

Comments (7)

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5:40pm Fri 7 Mar 14

LUSTARD says...

qwell at least theyve since married andnot divorced sothings arelooking rosy
qwell at least theyve since married andnot divorced sothings arelooking rosy LUSTARD
  • Score: 0

5:43pm Fri 7 Mar 14

ian923 says...

I cannot understand why Price has not been prosecuted for this and other" mistakes". If a DCI can,t see that a mini bar bill should be paid from her own account she should also be prosecuted. Definitely in the public interest as it was taxpayers money these robbers spent with definite guilty knowledge. The were so arrogant they thought dishonesty was acceptable.WRONG!
They have got off lightly.
I cannot understand why Price has not been prosecuted for this and other" mistakes". If a DCI can,t see that a mini bar bill should be paid from her own account she should also be prosecuted. Definitely in the public interest as it was taxpayers money these robbers spent with definite guilty knowledge. The were so arrogant they thought dishonesty was acceptable.WRONG! They have got off lightly. ian923
  • Score: 17

5:58pm Fri 7 Mar 14

Homshaw1 says...

No wonder our council taxes are so high
No wonder our council taxes are so high Homshaw1
  • Score: 15

6:53pm Fri 7 Mar 14

Claude Ted says...

Come on Mr Price get your appeal in & we can all have a laugh!
There are that many lies being told I'm surprised they haven't got noses 6 foot long!
Come on Mr Price get your appeal in & we can all have a laugh! There are that many lies being told I'm surprised they haven't got noses 6 foot long! Claude Ted
  • Score: 16

10:53pm Fri 7 Mar 14

behonest says...

“The fact that it was paid for using my corporate credit card is simply a stupid and somewhat embarrassing error.”

If I was caught drinking and driving tomorrow, would the police let me off if I just said I made a stupid and embarrassing error?
“The fact that it was paid for using my corporate credit card is simply a stupid and somewhat embarrassing error.” If I was caught drinking and driving tomorrow, would the police let me off if I just said I made a stupid and embarrassing error? behonest
  • Score: 11

8:27am Sat 8 Mar 14

Got Ya says...

Where were the Auditors to the Police Authority when all of this was happening?
Where were the Auditors to the Police Authority when all of this was happening? Got Ya
  • Score: 14

7:00pm Mon 10 Mar 14

ad lucem says...

Price seems to think that a lack of a prosecution somehow vindicates him and clears his "disgraced" name. No it doesn't Price it just shows how risk adverse the CPS is. And credit to the Echo for continually highlighting this rank corruption.
Price seems to think that a lack of a prosecution somehow vindicates him and clears his "disgraced" name. No it doesn't Price it just shows how risk adverse the CPS is. And credit to the Echo for continually highlighting this rank corruption. ad lucem
  • Score: 2

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