A police officer was banned from the roads after she was caught drinking during her own force’s Christmas crackdown on boozed-up motorists.
PC Helena Stone, 30, was more than twice over the limit when she was stopped behind the wheel of her Seat Leon in Oldham.
Liverpool Magistrates’ Court heard how the officer, who serves with Greater Manchester Police (GMP), aroused suspicion due to the manner of her driving.
Andrew Page, prosecuting, said two police officers were on patrol on Oldham Way around 3am on Christmas Eve when they noticed her Seat stall.
The car was next seen “straddling” lanes and the officers – believing the driver may have consumed alcohol – pulled the vehicle over.
Stone immediately identified herself as a serving GMP officer and told the two officers: “I am f*****.”
She was taken to Bury police station and breathalysed and the reading showed 75 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – the legal limit is 35 micrograms.
Stone, who pleaded guilty to drink-driving, was caught as GMP were clamping down on drink-drivers during their annual festive campaign, which warned road users about stiff penalties for driving over the legal limit.
Chris Fallows, defending, said the officer was “entirely remorseful” over the incident, saying: “Perhaps indicative of this the defendant has stated she would prefer to be walking up in a cell than waking up having to be told that she has injured someone.”
He said there were a number mitigating factors in Stone’s personal life which had caused her stress.
They included buying a house she no longer wanted and an “ongoing dispute” with the builders, causing her “further anguish” and a painful long-running skin condition that caused her “constant discomfort”.
Her mother had been the victim of a domestic violence incident by her father, Mr Fallows said, resulting it her mum living with her and her relationship with her dad left “damaged”.
Stone had also been involved in car crash in November 2022 that wasn’t her fault and had suffered injuries and further stress.
Mr Fallows said that Stone was now receiving counselling for PTSD, depression and anxiety because of the incident.
“She seems to have acknowledged the problems in her life at that time and has since taken steps to put her on the right track,” he added.
“I know that that’s an odd thing to say because she’s a police officer but she’s human and has her own vulnerabilities.”
District judge Timothy Boswell told Stone that as a serving police officer she should “appreciate the dangers of drink-driving” which put her and other innocent road users at risk.
He acknowledged the “significant mitigation” in her case and her “health and life difficulties” but said others experienced the same difficulties and they could not excuse her drink-driving.
The judge banned Stone, from Rochdale, Greater Manchester, from driving for 18 months and handed her a £400 fine.
She was also ordered to pay £120 costs and a £160 surcharge.
A GMP spokesperson said: “PC Stone remains on restricted duties and the case is now with GMP’s Professional Standards Branch to consider the next steps.”
Greater Manchester Police
- Stats since 1st January 2022
55 Misconduct Hearings
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