Met Police officer faces losing job after night out in Wakefield

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A Metropolitan Police officer faces losing his job after he was convicted of being drunk and disorderly in Wakefield city centre.

Paul Washbourne, 32, was off-duty and on a rugby tour when he was caught on CCTV staggering in the precinct late on May 2.

He was fined £500 and ordered to pay £625 costs and a £50 victim surcharge following a two-day hearing at Wakefield Magistrates’ Court.

The trial heard how two West Yorkshire police officers went to investigate after getting a report that a man was telling door staff he was a police officer.

PCs Chris Merrick and Mark Pedder, who were in a marked police car, pulled up on the cathedral precinct near a man who was slumped over a junction box.

Washbourne told the patrolmen he was a policeman and produced a London Met warrant card. But the officers said Washbourne refused to give them his date of birth and became argumentative.

He also put his hands out, saying “Go on, arrest me.”

The officers told Washbourne go back to his hotel but he fell over soon afterwards near a couple at a cash machine and was arrested.

Washbourne, of Romford, London, denied a charge of being drunk and disorderly.

He accepted “feeling a bit worse for wear” for drink but not being disorderly. He said he hadn’t fallen over and denied demanding to be arrested or threatening the officers it would cost them their jobs.

He said: “When I got arrested it was like an adrenalin shock to the system. It was like my whole life flashed before my eyes and everything I would lose, so I didn’t threaten him, I was begging him to let me go.”

But he was found guilty by District Judge Adrian Lower on the grounds he fell into the couple at the cash machine and him later falling to the floor.

Kitty St Aubyn, mitigating, said Washbourne had 12 years of “exemplary service” in the police, including apprehending an armed murder suspect and many commendations.

The judge said: “Even the best of us, on occasion, get things wrong and make mistakes. I can only assume this was very much a one-off incident on your part given what I’ve read about your otherwise exemplary service as a police officer for the Metropolitan Police.”

But he added: “You don’t need me to tell you of all people just what a nuisance drunk and disorderly behaviour is to the general law abiding public, quite apart from it tying up valuable police resources as your behaviour did on May 2.

“It’s this type of behaviour which puts off many people from going into town late at night.”

The judge added: “I recognise entirely that the consequence of this conviction is likely to bring what has otherwise has been valuable service to the public to an end.”