Wales

Stressed Fishguard port police cleared of fraud

Fishguard Port Image copyright Google
Image caption The officers said they were too stressed to have been on duty

Members of a counter terrorism unit at a Pembrokeshire port have been cleared of fraud.

Timothy Pawlett, 52, and Gareth Clement, 55, admitted leaving their posts at Fishguard harbour early or arriving late 126 times, but denied acting dishonestly when they claimed full working hours.

The officers said they suffered from stress in their personal lives.

The jury at Swansea Crown Court returned not guilty verdicts.

It had deliberated for 20 minutes.

The court heard Mr Pawlett, from Haverfordwest, and Mr Clement, from Crymych, were members of the Welsh Extremism and Counter Terrorism Unit, and their job was to monitor people and vehicles travelling on the ferry to and from Rosslare in Ireland.

Mr Pawlett told the jury he had been suffering from depression, stress and anxiety and had been studying full time for a degree in psychology.

Mr Clement said events in his personal life "took him to the brink of a breakdown" and he had suffered panic attacks at work.

Both officers said they should have been off on sick leave.

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