28 Aug Policewoman jailed after trying to persuade colleagues to o…
A policewoman asked a colleague if he could “lose that report” when her partner was stopped for speeding.
Clare Brown told another colleague “there goes the wedding photography fund”.
The extraordinary lengths Brown went to for the speeding report to be ditched were laid bare in a courtroom as she was jailed for four months.
Judge Timothy Spencer QC told her in the dock: “This is absolutely ruinous. You know that, I know that. It’s ruinous for you, your partner, your family.”
An “outstanding police officer”, Brown – who served with The Met and then Lincolnshire Police for 16 years – is now in a jail cell over her attempt to pervert the course of justice.
The judge said: “It is clear to me that your motivation was never for yourself. The concern, it is clear to me, was the effect of the speeding conviction to your partner and your partner’s job. And that, to me, is one of your hallmarks; concern not for yourself but for others.”
Nottingham Crown Court heard the offence involved her attempting to make representations to employees of Lincolnshire Police, intending to prevent the submission of a road traffic offence report for an offence of speeding.
Brown was off-duty and in the passenger seat as her partner drove them to a rugby match.
The car was stopped by a PCSO who the judge said “acted entirely properly throughout”. He was doing speed checks on the A518, at Wragby, Lincolnshire, in a 30mph zone, as the couple were heading westbound towards Lincoln at 48mph.
The partner was told she would be reported for an offence of speeding by the PCSO.
Brown approached the officer’s vehicle and was heard to say “I suppose it will make no difference I am in the job?”
James Thomas, prosecuting, said this was a reference to her being a serving police officer and was something she repeated.
Brown, who said she was with Louth police, was told by the officer “it’s not going to help whatsoever” and “let’s not go there anyway”.
“The defendant was clearly unhappy at what he was doing and took his details,” said Mr Thomas.
Brown then contacted a Facebook friend, who was a police Inspector, claiming the PCSO “didn’t seem to have any discretion” and said: “There goes the wedding photography fund.”
“The Inspector sought to offer alternatives; other members of staff that could act as a photographer,” said Mr Thomas. “But this defendant said ‘I told him I was ‘in the job LOL’.”
The Inspector said the PCSO was “very down the line” and “would even give me a ticket”. Brown replied: “It’s a different breed these days.”
Mr Thomas said: “That exchange with the Inspector seems to have been this defendant dipping her toe in the water to see if the officer could do anything to see if he could assist”.
The PCSO made the same Inspector aware of Brown’s comments to him at the time. In turn the Inspector made Brown’s line manager aware of the conversation.
Later that day, the PCSO’s supervisor approached the Inspector and made her aware of a Facebook message received from Brown in the early hours of January 7 – sent after Brown had got drunk at the rugby match.
The defendant had sent the supervisor a Facebook friend request and then a message, asking for a massive favour and to have a word with the PCSO. She claimed this would mess up her partner’s application for HGV driving with the RAF.
“If you could lose that report, I would be eternally grateful,” Brown had written.
The Inspector contacted the Professional Standards Department which launched an investigation and interviewed Brown, 35, of Lincoln.
She made full admissions to her involvement in the incidents and her behaviour, claiming the PCSO’s demeanor “was arrogant”.
She concluded her actions were thoughtless and rash and cost her everything.
Alexander Menary, mitigating, told the judge: “Your honour knows she cannot and will not be a police officer ever again.”
In April she resigned from her job. The judge said: “I should imagine that was one of or the most difficult things you have done in your life.”
And he said there were three stages to what she did and a degree of persistence which had been limited.
“With great sorrow I have come to the view I would be failing in my public duty if I did not impose an immediate sentence of imprisonment.”