PC Myles Hughes jailed for lying under oath
A Greater Manchester Police officer has been jailed for 12 months after he lied under oath to escape a driving ban.
PC Myles Hughes, of Macclesfield, Cheshire, persuaded barman Paul Doyle to lie for him after he was caught driving over the limit in April 2010.
He claimed it was not his fault as Doyle, also 35 and from Macclesfield, had served him the wrong drinks.
Both admitted perjury and were jailed for 12 and four months respectively at Liverpool Crown Court.
Hughes, of St George's Street, was spared a disqualification in November last year when he told Macclesfield Magistrates' Court that he did not know he was over the alcohol limit.
He said Doyle, a childhood friend, had given him the wrong drinks.
Doyle, of Moss Lane, backed him up, saying he had given Hughes four pints of "lager top" instead of lager shandy in a bid to "cheer his friend up".
Judge Elgan Edwards said: "Perjury strikes at the very heart of the criminal justice system.
"Both of you deliberately lied to magistrates and the magistrates accepted your word. And indeed, why shouldn't they?
"They were faced with a police officer with a distinguished record.
"You, Mr Doyle, had no previous convictions. So they accepted your evidence. But that was a lie, put forward quite deliberately in order to deceive."
Hughes was a PC for the Hazel Grove Neighbourhood Policing Team in Manchester but has since resigned from the police.
Duncan Bold, prosecuting, told the court that Hughes had been stopped in his Vauxhall Astra on 28 April last year after he was seen by a police officer leaving The Flower Pot pub in Macclesfield.
He was pulled over for speeding, but then breath-tested after the officer could smell alcohol inside the car.
A roadside breath test showed Hughes had 47 microgrammes of alcohol per 100ml of breath - the legal limit is 35 microgrammes.
He was given a £475 fine and six points on his licence after he and Doyle presented their fake story to the court.
The court heard how Hughes confided in two police colleagues about his plan to lie under oath.
Both officers urged him not to do it and then subsequently reported the matter to the force's Professional Standards Department, which began an investigation against Hughes shortly after his case was concluded by magistrates.
Patrick Thompson, defending Hughes, said the defendant had been a police officer for 10 years and was "extremely proud" of his career.
He said the episode had brought "great shame on him and his very respectable family".
Det Ch Supt Dave Keller, of Greater Manchester Police, said: "Rather than just admit what he had done, this officer concocted a story to excuse the fact he had been caught driving while under the influence of alcohol.
"In doing so, he went to great lengths to lie to the court, his employers and the people in the communities he served.
"The public have a right to expect both the very highest standards from its officers and be able put their trust in them. Sadly this officer let his community down."