Police officer in hit and run was drunk.

Posted: November 17, 2009 in Law & Disorder

A police officer from Lancashire convicted of causing a hit-and-run crash while drunk had been caught over the limit nine months earlier – but the case was dropped.

IlieAndrew Armstrong, 50, was seen asleep in his car with the engine running by a neighbour who called police in December.

He was breathalysed and charged with being in charge of a motor vehicle with alcohol above the limit, but the case was scrapped at court due to a lack of evidence. But it has emerged police did not interview Armstrong or the witness and insisted it was normal practice.

Nine months later, Armstrong, a Lancashire Police officer for 23 years, fled a head-on crash before being found by a police dog in bed at his ex-wife’s house. He is facing jail for the second incident when he is sentenced on Tuesday.

Armstrong said: “They should have interviewed me but they didn’t. Interviewing me would be the normal course of action. Even the Professional Standards Department didn’t want to know. They never spoke to me.”

His outraged neighbour, who said she saw Armstrong asleep with half empty bottle of vodka, said: “They had a witness – me – and a positive breath test.”

Armstrong, who was based at police headquarters in Hutton, was breathalysed, arrested and charged.

However, the case was dropped when it got to Burnley Magistrates Court on January 8.

On September 24 Armstrong failed to stop after a head-on accident in North Todd Lane, Lostock Hall, which left a woman with whiplash injuries and a written-off car.

As she climbed out of the passenger side of her car she saw Armstrong stagger away along a bridle path.

A police dog followed his scent to his ex-wife’s house in Lyndale Grove, Lostock Hall, where she invited officers into the house. Armstrong was found in a bed in a ground-floor bedroom.

Armstrong, who worked at Leyland Police Station, then threatened a police sergeant who came to assist in his arrest and had to be handcuffed.

He was finally breathalysed almost two hours after the crash and was found to be more than three times over the legal drink drive limit.

Armstrong, 50, of Cardale, Hutton, near Preston, pleaded guilty at Blackburn Magistrates’ Court to driving with excess alcohol, failing to stop after an accident and using threatening behaviour. He was suspended from duty and then resigned. He will not get his police pension.

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Comments
  1. How do you drop a case when the evidence is clear and available?
    Smacks of one rule for them and one for us!

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