Essex

Met Police PC Michael Turner jailed for drink-drive lie

Met Police firearms officer
Image caption Met Police firearms officer Michael Turner was twice the legal drink-drive limit when he was arrested

A police firearms officer who conspired to lie after he was arrested for drinking and driving has been jailed.

Michael Turner, 44, of Witham in Essex, was jailed for 18 months at Chelmsford Crown Court for perverting the course of justice.

The court heard he and former partner Nicola Howell, a nurse, had lied when Turner was tried for drink-driving at Witham Magistrates' Court in 2010.

Howell, 49, was jailed for six months for perverting the course of justice.

The pair were found guilty of conspiracy after a trial at the crown court.

The trial was told how Howell and Turner, a Metropolitan Police firearms officer and driving expert, had an argument on 9 May 2010 and Turner drove from her home in Canewdon to Witham when he was twice the legal alcohol limit.

'Profoundly shameful'

Howell contacted the police to tell them he was over the limit. Turner was arrested at home and charged with drinking and driving.

But at his trial before magistrates later that year, Howell, a senior accident and emergency sister at Southend Hospital, who is currently suspended, said she had laced his drink with alcohol.

He was given an absolute discharge.

When she was later arrested, Howell, a grandmother who also runs a beauty business, admitted she had perjured herself claiming he had forced her to lie by threatening her.

Simon Livingstone, mitigating for Turner, told the court the pair's relationship had been "tumultuous" and that: "He's not only going to be a target in prison, he's going to be a trophy."

Mr Livingstone told the court Turner stood to lose £500,000 as a result of losing his job with the Met.

Judge David Turner QC said: "There's something profoundly shameful about a serving, though suspended, police officer causing lies on oath to be told to a court to avoid the consequences of the law that you, as an officer, have taken oaths to uphold."

Both were ordered to pay £500 in costs and Turner was given an 18-month driving ban.

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