Prisoner put drunk officer to bed in cells he was guarding

A POLICE officer became so drunk he was put to bed in the cells by the supergrass he was meant to be closely supervising.

Pc Danny Dance, one of Karl Chapman’s jailers at Millgarth police station in Leeds, fell off a desk as he drank himself unconscious after bringing a bottle of whisky into work for the night shift.

Interviewed by North Yorkshire officers investigating Chapman’s treatment as an informant, Pc Dance said: “I got drunk. I was sat on the custody desk and fell off. That is the last I recall of the night.

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“When I woke up I was in the holding cell and it was the next day... I recall Chapman later saying words to the effect: ‘Fancy being put to bed by the prisoner’.”

At the time, Chapman was being held in police custody while he gave evidence at a crown court trial against his criminal accomplice Gary Ford, with whom he had carried out a series of ‘bogus official’ robberies.

Chapman’s jailers had enjoyed something of a party on the night.

When Pc Andrew Leonard came on the day shift the following morning he recalled: “The custody area was a mess, it smelled of alcohol. There was empty cans and bottles all over the place including whisky.”

He told investigators: “I was conscious of the visit by the review officer around 9am daily. I started to clear up the empties into a holdall which I carried with me and disposed of them outside.

“I sprayed around with air freshener and opened the window to let fresh air in. I remember checking to see where Chapman was and that he was in a suitable position for the impending visit. I do recall he was drunk and in a cell.

“I cannot recall who it was on the floor but I dragged him without him waking into the interview room and then locked him inside.

“I do recall that Karl Chapman when he woke up was laughing and joking about what had happened the previous night had been a ‘heavy night’.”

The scale of the Chapman’s drinking while at Millgarth was underlined in a letter from a girlfriend, who was in prison herself.

She looked forward to him returning to prison custody, observing “... at least back at (prison) you won’t be steaming drunk all the time”.