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27 December 2010, 08:16 | Updated: 27 December 2010, 08:20
A pub regular who spent a day spreading festive spirit as Santa at a children's party was later arrested for being drunk and on suspicion of having drugs.
The man was dressed as Father Christmas and handing out presents to around 70 children at the Rockingham Arms, in Studfall Avenue, Corby last Saturday.
But after returning to his normal attire and joining the other regulars in the bar, he was arrested after a visit from police officers and sniffer dogs who were on the final day of an alcohol week of action.
A police spokesman confirmed the man appeared to be inebriated, and was searched for drugs and arrested.
Rockingham Arms landlord Jimmy Brown said: "Unfortunately, Santa got a bit mouthy when the police came in. There were a couple of hundred people in the bar and they were all shouting 'don't take our Santa!'"
Mr Brown had hired the man to play the role of Father Christmas because his usual Santa was double-booked.
He had spent the day handing out gifts to the children at a party the pub hosts every year.
Of the police operation, he said: "I don't have any problems with it at all if it helps keep my pub clean. The majority of people know they have got a job to do."
A police spokesman said: "After indication from the drugs dogs, a man was arrested at around 7.55pm on suspicion of drugs offences. We believe he was intoxicated."
The man, who spent the night in the cells, was one of two people arrested on suspicion of drugs offences in Corby as part of the operation with sniffer dogs. The week of action also involved a crackdown on alcohol-related disorder.