Beds, Herts & Bucks

Ex-Met officer David Parfitt drove wrong way on A1(M)

A1M at Welwyn Image copyright Google
Image caption David Parfitt left the Met Police with post-traumatic stress disorder after attending the aftermath of the London 7/7 bombings

A former Metropolitan Police officer who drove the wrong way on a motorway has been given a suspended jail term.

Northbound drivers on the A1(M) in Hertfordshire were horrified to see David Parfitt's car heading towards them in the early hours of 27 December 2016, St Albans Crown Court heard.

Parfitt, 49, had a large amount of methylamphetamine in his system.

He admitted possessing the drug, dangerous driving, and driving while unfit through drugs.

'Speechless'

Parfitt, of Bretton, Peterborough, drove in the wrong direction for about eight miles (13km) from junction 10, near Baldock, to junction six for Welwyn Garden City.

One man told police he was "speechless" after only just managing to get out of Parfitt's way by swerving on to the hard shoulder.

Other drivers reported seeing Parfitt's Rover veering between lanes as it travelled south on the northbound carriageway.

Police attended but Parfitt eventually stopped the car himself before being arrested.

Parfitt left the Met with post-traumatic stress disorder after attending the aftermath of the London 7/7 bombings in 2005 and dealing with body parts.

Judge Jonathan Carroll said the former officer was "lucky" there was not a head-on collision that night.

Parfitt was sentenced to eight months' imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work.

He was also disqualified from driving from 18 months and will have to take an extended test before being able to drive again.

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