Slumped drink-driver found dressed as a police officer - court told

A police officer
A police officer

A man dressed in police uniform found slumped at the wheel of a car was five times the drink-drive limit, a court heard.

Robert Gerrard McLaughlin, the father of a policeman, was “out of it” in the middle of the road with the engine running.

McLaughlin, 52, of Chestnut Glade, Nostell Priory, was dressed in police uniform, wearing a communications earpiece and had an officer’s helmet on the passenger seat.

He admitted driving with excess alcohol and being in possession of a police uniform while not being a not a member of a police force or a special constable.

A charge of theft of the uniform, some of which belonged to an ill policewoman, was withdrawn.

Prosecutor Diane Gomersall told how a cyclist discovered McLaughlin parked diagonally across Pontefract Road, Ackworth on May 28. He banged on the window to rouse McLaughlin and noticed he was wearing a police uniform.

Police arrived and McLaughlin was given a road-side breath test.

Mrs Gomersall said: “He was arrested and taken to hospital due to the dangerously high level of alcohol reading in his system, which was five times the limit.”

Police later obtained a blood samples at the hospital. The second test showed he had 366mgs of alcohol in 100mls of blood. The legal limit is 80mgs.

Mrs Gomersall said the majority of the police uniform belonged to a female officer who McLaughlin had been helping because a medical condition prevented her from working.

He did jobs around the house for her and had a key. But she didn’t give him permission to take her uniform.

The court heard the police helmet which was found in the car belonged to McLaughlin’s police officer son who had left it at his father’s house by mistake.

Ruth Gill, mitigating, said her client had developed a significant drink problem.

District Judge Marie Mallon adjourned sentencing for a alcohol treatment assessment. But she warned McLaughlin that all sentencing options would be considered next month.

He was made subject to a interim driving ban.