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Police call-handler resigns after being stopped for drink-driving at Terrington St John on way to Dersingham

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A police call-taker from West Norfolk has resigned from the role after a second conviction for drink-driving in four years.

Gerald King was given the option of giving up his job with Cambridgeshire Constabulary or facing a disciplinary hearing by the force, Lynn Magistrates’ Court was told on Thursday.

Solicitor George Sorrell said King had met up with family members in Peterborough to discuss some personal matters.

KIng's Lynn Magistrates' Court (57389413)
KIng's Lynn Magistrates' Court (57389413)

“Unfortunately they met at his cousin’s public house, which probably wasn’t a good place to meet up because they were discussing various people including some who had passed away and they took the opportunity to toast those people every time they were mentioned,” said Mr Sorrell.

King’s alcohol level was still rising when two off-duty officers saw him swerving over both lanes of the A47 at Terrington St John, en route to Dersingham.

He pulled into a lay-by and the off-duty officers followed and identified themselves.

“The defendant closed his driver’s window and took the handbrake off,” said prosecutor Hannah Butler. “One of the off-duty officers managed to open the door and remove the keys from the ignition.”

On-duty colleagues arrived and King, of James Jackson Road, was asked if he had consumed alcohol. “Yes, too much Peroni,” was his reply, the court was told.

An indicative roadside reading of 66 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath had risen to 82 by the time he gave an evidential sample in custody. The legal limit is 35.

King, who pleaded guilty to the April 23 drink-driving offence, had a similar conviction in 2018, triggering an extended mandatory ban.

Mr Sorrell, mitigating, said it was a “very sad” case as his client was a man aged 62 who lived in a car when his daughter couldn’t accommodate him, drank when he was unhappy and was without a job or driving licence now.

King was banned for three years. He was not offered the drink-driver rehabilitation course, which could have cut his ban, as he had benefited from it last time.

He was also fined £120 and ordered to pay £139 in costs and victim surcharge.

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