Stowmarket: Police Officer Admits Drink Driving

A police officer has admitted drink driving after being caught over the limit driving on the A14 in Suffolk.

Pc Matthew Stott, 45, admitted driving while over the legal limit on the A14 in Suffolk in September last year when he appeared at Norwich Magistrates' Court this morning.

Prosecutor Oliver Haswell told the court that Stott  claimed to have drunk two large glasses of wine, panicked and told his female passenger: "My job, my job, I'm going to lose everything and I've only got six years left.''

He failed to stop for police and eventually reached his home in Kingfisher Road, Stowmarket, where he agreed to a breath test.

Stott had previously denied the charge but changed his plea on the morning of his scheduled trial.

He had intended to fight the allegation on the basis that the breathalyser was faulty and officers had not followed correct procedures.

Heather Oliver, mitigating, said the police pursuit had lasted "only five minutes''.

His breathalyser reading of 44 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath was only narrowly over the legal limit of 35, she added.

Miss Oliver said that Stott had "parlous'' finances and his 24 year career was now "effectively over''.

"He will be punished over and above what many defendants would face in a similar situation,'' she added.

District judge Peter Veits banned Stott from driving for 12 months and ordered him to pay a fine and legal costs totaling £1,115.

He said: "You must deal with drink driving on a regular basis and you must see the consequences of that.

"It was a very unwise decision to drive that night and you exacerbated that by not stopping for the police.''

Stott was previously convicted of driving at more than 30mph above the normal limit at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court in Ipswich.

He told the court he had been suffering from stress and was late for work.

But instead of banning him from driving, magistrates decided to put six penalty points on his previously clean driving licence and issue him with a fine.

At the time, road safety campaigners criticised that decision, labelling it an example of "one rule for police and another for everybody else''.

Superintendent Louisa Pepper of the Suffolk and Norfolk Professional Standards Department said: "Matthew Stott was suspended from his role as a serving police officer after his arrest and charge for drink driving.

"Following his guilty plea at Norwich Magistrates Court this morning, Monday 18 February, Suffolk Constabulary?s Professional Standards Department will look at what additional action may now be taken against him.

"The public rightly expects the highest standards from our officers, who should act with integrity and professionalism at all times. Unfortunately in this instance this was not the case."

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