Beds, Herts & Bucks

Bedfordshire police sergeant dismissed for drink driving

police sign
Image caption Police sergeant Taurayi Chamboko "feigned illness" to avoid giving a urine sample after being arrested

A police sergeant has been dismissed after he "tried to avoid" being charged with drink driving.

Taurayi Chamboko of Bedfordshire Police was stopped by officers after overtaking an unmarked police car "in poor driving conditions" on 9 November, a misconduct panel heard.

He "immediately" produced his warrant card and later "feigned illness" to avoid producing a urine sample.

His actions were found to amount to gross misconduct.

Chief Constable Jon Boutcher said he "could not be more disappointed" by Mr Chamboko's behaviour.

"You overtook two cars at high speed in poor driving conditions and when stopped you produced your warrant card immediately," he said.

"I have absolutely no doubt you tried to avoid the police process that day."

'Did not co-operate'

Mr Boutcher said the police sergeant "tried to frustrate officers" when he was stopped at 22:30 GMT and it took five attempts before Mr Chamboko provided a road-side breath test sample.

It gave a reading of 58 micrograms of alcohol per 100ml of breath - the legal limit is 35 micrograms.

At the police station, Mr Chamboko was found "slumped in his cell" and "did not co-operate with questions asked".

He was taken to hospital and did not provide a further sample until 04:30 - which also came back as over the limit.

Mr Boutcher said the sergeant delayed the process "by feigning illness".

At the hearing at police headquarters, Mr Chamboko said he was "terribly sorry" for his actions and blamed his behaviour on dealing with grief after the deaths of three close relatives.

Jim Mallen from the Police Federation said the police sergeant was also affected by "work-related stress".

Mr Chamboko said he visited a friend and drank cognac from 10:00-13:00 before sleeping for nine hours.

He had 16 years' police service and was described by his colleagues as "dedicated, hardworking and committed".

As he dismissed Mr Chamboko without notice, Mr Boutcher said: "It is a great sadness that an officer of your standard is lost to policing."

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