Police employee arrived at St Asaph job smelling of drink


Staff Reporter

A STRESSED police civilian employee was sent home when he turned up for work smelling of alcohol.

Gareth James Jones, 38, was given a lift home from the police headquarters at St Asaph.

But when it was realised he had earlier driven to the police station for his shift, police officers were sent to his home.

He was arrested when he provided a positive breathtest and a later intoxiliser test back at the police station showed he had 99 microgrammes of alcohol in his breath compared to the legal limit of 35.

Jones, who at the time lived at St Asaph but who has since returned to his parents’ home  in Llansannan, admitted a drink driving charge when he appeared at Flintshire Magistrates Court at Mold yesterday.

Jones, said to have started drinking because of the pressure of his job which he had held since May of last year, was banned from driving for two years.

He was placed on a 12-month community order under which he must carry out 120 hours’ unpaid work and attend a 10-day alcohol workbook programme.

Jones was ordered to pay £145 costs.

The court heard how on February 10 he was working the 5pm to 3am shift in the communications department and when he arrived colleagues realised he smelled of intoxicants.

Prosecutor Justin Espie said he was advised he should go home and it was arranged for a member of staff to take him.

But when that member of staff returned to the police station she was advised he had earlier driven there and police were sent to his home address where he provided a positive breathtest.

David Jones, defending, said Jones was devastated by his actions.

He was a man of no previous convictions who was genuinely remorseful.

Jones had not driven or drunk any alcohol since the incident and had already sought help through AA and through his doctor.

He was involved in the community and helped at a rugby club but described himself as a bit of a loner.

Mr Jones said: “He was not going into work on a regular basis under the influence of alcohol. This was the first time it had happened.

“Matters got worse over a period of time.”

Jones got home following a night shift and drank to help him sleep.

He got up at around midday, was due back in work in the evening and unfortunately drank during the course of the afternoon.

“Then, foolishly, he decided to drive to work,” he said, driving the quarter of a mile or so to the police headquarters.

He was sent home and fully complied when officers later turned up at his home.

Jones was currently suspended, would now face disciplinary proceedings.

“I don’t want to pre-judge matters but there is a possibility that he will be dismissed,” Mr Jones explained.

“He wishes to apologise to North Wales Police for putting them in a difficult position and to his family for the distress he has caused,” he added.

See full story in the Leader

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