Essex

Drink-driving Essex Police officer sacked

Hockley Road, Rayleigh Image copyright Google
Image caption PC Sam Creighton told the hearing she was "disgusted" with herself

An Essex police officer who was found to be twice the legal drink-drive limit when she was pulled over on the wrong side of the road has been sacked.

PC Sam Creighton, 38, was stopped by her colleagues on 9 September and later banned from driving for 20 months.

Chief Constable BJ Harrington said she was a "respected and competent officer", but public confidence would be undermined if he did not sack her.

She was dismissed at a hearing in Chelmsford for discreditable conduct.

Creighton had been office-based since she pleaded guilty to drinking and driving at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court on 23 October.

A police officer since 2006, she was stopped at 02:10 BST on Hockley Road, Rayleigh.

The disciplinary hearing was told the mother of four was "utterly devoted" to Essex Police.

Giving evidence, Creighton said she had had an argument with her boyfriend and remembered very little of what happened before she was stopped.

She apologised to the chief constable and the community policing team in Basildon.

Ch Insp Sam Smith told the hearing Creighton was her "go-to front-line officer engaging with travellers" and was "at the heart of community policing".

The hearing asked for the officer to be given a final written warning, but Ch Con Harrington told Creighton it was "with a heavy heart" he dismissed her.

After the hearing he said: "We have a duty to keep all road users and pedestrians safe and I had no option but to dismiss PC Samantha Creighton for her illegal, unprofessional and reckless behaviour despite her previous creditable service."

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