A veteran police officer who suffered what his lawyer termed a “crisis of conscience” pleaded guilty Friday to fraud and obstructing police.

Sgt. Michael Allard admitted lying to his colleagues about being in a car crash, and making a fraudulent insurance claim for nearly $9,000 following the collision.

“I am truly sorry for my behaviour,” he said in court.

“I take responsibility for my poor decisions.

Allard was given a conditional discharge – meaning no criminal record – and a one-year probation sentence, and ordered to repay the insurance claim.

The charges related to a February 2015 incident which defence lawyer Bernard Cummins termed a “harrowing circumstance which would make any parent shudder.”

Court heard that Allard’s 17-year-old son lost control of the vehicle he was driving on Activa Avenue in Kitchener.

After crashing through a bus shelter, the vehicle ended up in the ditch.

According to Crown attorney Janine Hodgins, Allard went to the scene and called the police dispatch line, telling them he was involved in a collision.

He made a similar claim to the insurance company.

Allard was charged three months later, following an investigation prompted by a call to police from his ex-wife.

Since May, he has been suspended from the police service with pay.

That suspension will continue as he awaits a hearing under the Police Services Act.

“Now that the criminal process has ended, (the police investigation) can recommence,” said Staff Sgt. Mike Haffner.

A timeline for the internal discipline process has not been determined.

In delivering his sentence, Justice Bruce Pugsley said that Allard was “cashing in all the credit he’s built up in the community.”