Senior cop in court over drink-driving breath test charges

Snatch pic of Chief Inspector Paul Barrett at Consett Magistrates Court
Snatch pic of Chief Inspector Paul Barrett at Consett Magistrates Court
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A SENIOR police officer has made his first appearance in court after he was charged with failing to undergo a breath test.

Chief Inspector Paul Barrett is alleged to have committed the offence on Sunday, July 29, in Chester-le-Street.

Yesterday, the 37-year-old from Newbottle appeared before Consett Magistrates’ Court to face the claim.

Dressed in a grey suit, white shirt and black tie, he spoke only to confirm his name and address to the bench.

However, his solicitor Gerry Armstrong asked for magistrates to adjourn the case, saying he had not been given evidence to look through ahead of the hearing.

The court heard that it includes footage taken from inside a police car and from the custody suite where Barrett was taken after his arrest.

Mr Armstrong said: “I hope the crown will accept, though a simple case, it’s not one to rush and would be an injustice to proceed with it.”

Harry Jandoo, prosecuting, added the footage is “crucial” in the case.

No plea was formally entered to the charge of failing to provide a breath specimen for analysis as the driver of a vehicle.

The incident is alleged to 
have happened after Barrett crashed his car in Chester-le-Street.

He was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving in the early hours of the morning by Durham Police officers.

No one was injured in the collision, which only involved Barrett’s car.

The former Washington neighbourhood inspector was off duty at the time.

Barrett was released on unconditional bail until September 11, when the case will go 
before Peterlee Magistrates’ Court.

Northumbria Police confirmed the officer remains suspended from his post in its criminal justice department.

Twitter: @echoeastdurham