A policeman who lied about his job after crashing his car while three times over the drink-drive limit has walked from court after pleading with a judge not to send him to prison because he feared being “targeted” due to his job.
Former PC Jatinder Dosanjh, 31, downed whisky and was seen driving erratically by other motorists before crashing in Calverley, Leeds, on December 5.
His Volkswagon Polo flipped onto its roof - and after a nearby learner driver stopped to pull him out of his window he made a run for it. He was tracked down by police who identified his vehicle - but when he was taken to the police station he gave a false name and occupation. His real job as a constable with West Yorkshire Police, based in Bradford, was discovered 15 hours later.
Leeds Magistrates’ Court was told how the married officer was seen driving erratically while returning home from his parents’ house. Breathalyser tests backed Dosanjh’s claim he had downed half a litre of whisky by the time he got home. He pleaded not guilty to the offence, but was convicted after a two-day trial before Leeds magistrates.
Paul Fleming, for Dosanjh, told the court his client had lost his job at West Yorkshire Police, and was looking for work in the financial sector but his profession meant he would be “exposed” to being targeted in prison.
District Judge David Kitson told the former officer: “I have no doubt that, other than than this incident you are otherwise a thoroughly outstanding member of the community. However, you caused an accident and did not remain at the scene and did not plead guilty to your offence.”
He was handed eight weeks in jail suspended for 12 months, a three-year driving ban and 100 hours of community service.
Detective Chief Superintendent Andy Brennan, of West Yorkshire Police’s Professional Standards Department, said officers were expected to show the “highest standards” on and off duty.
“We welcome the sentence which has been passed down today and hope that it will serve as a reminder to all other members of West Yorkshire Police that drink driving will not be tolerated,” he added.