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Police officer sacked for breaking lockdown and crashing car while over drink-drive limit

Jon Sharman
·2-min read
<p>Tasia Stephens was ‘distressed’ after dealing with first on-duty death, hearing told (File photo)</p> (Rex Features)

Tasia Stephens was ‘distressed’ after dealing with first on-duty death, hearing told (File photo)

(Rex Features)

A police officer has been sacked after breaking lockdown rules to attend a party and then crashing her car while over the drink-drive limit.

PC Tasia Stephens had admitted her behaviour amounted to gross misconduct at a South Wales Police hearing on Monday.

On Tuesday she was sacked and barred from working in policing.

Ms Stephens, 24, was still on probation when she ignored stay-at-home rule to attend a house party last April, despite the fact adhering to them “was nationally important” and she was expected to enforce them, the misconduct panel heard.

Her representative argued she had been "distressed" after recently dealing with her first sudden death while on duty, and visited her aunt's home to seek help processing it. While there she was also informed of historic sexual allegations against a family member.

Watch: Police in violent confrontation with gym owner who refused to close

However, misconduct panel chair Susan Ridge said: "We are satisfied the impact of these issues was not a factor on the night. More likely than not you wanted company, took a bottle of wine to a relative's house, drank alcohol there, then chose to drive."

Though she acknowledged PC Stephens had shown "genuine remorse", Ms Ridge added: "We've concluded that your conduct, taken as a whole, is so serious that nothing less than dismissal is needed to maintain public confidence."

The hearing was told Ms Stephens walked to her nearby home after the four-person party in Treorchy, South Wales, at about midnight, then shortly afterwards got in the car.

She was stopped by two colleagues, who, it was said, did not notice she was over the limit. One of them reminded her about the stay-at-home order but she continued her journey.

Ms Stephens drove for less than two miles before crashing into of a shop in Pentre, causing the owner a financial loss, the panel heard.

She was found to have 90mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath, more than twice over the limit of 35mg.

In July last year she admitted drink-driving in court and was handed a 12-month conditional discharge and banned from the road for 15 months.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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