Gloucestershire Police officer jailed for driving offences
Miles Caffull, who was a response officer for Gloucestershire Constabulary, was disqualified from driving for six months on May 26 last year. Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court heard Caffull had accumulated at least 12 points on his licence from four previous speeding offences. The 26-year-old did not tell his sergeant he had been banned from driving and continued to drive to and from work, prosecutor Owen Beale said today, Monday.
Mr Beale said Caffull also drove marked police vehicles on blue lights during the course of his duties. The officer admitted to the force that he had been driving while disqualified only on June 20 last year. Mr Beale said: “He made the decision to drive to and from work and whilst carrying out his duties as a serving police officer using marked vehicles on blue lights.
“He did finally report his disqualification to his sergeant on June 20, the day the local newspaper reported that he had been disqualified from driving. “It was only at that moment it came to light for Gloucestershire Constabulary.” Miles Caffull who used to work for Gloucestershire Police has been jailed – photo by the Ledbury Reporter (Image: Ledbury Reporter / Newsquest)
At Monday’s court hearing, Caffull of Saxon Way in Ledbury, Herefordshire, pleaded guilty to driving a Kia while disqualified at Westgate Island in Gloucester on May 26. He also admitted driving a vehicle without insurance at Westgate Island and elsewhere on the same day. Mitigating for Caffull, Colin Phillips said his client had been a person of previously good character.
He said: “He accepts he has been stupid and he doesn’t understand entirely why he did what he did and what led him to do it. “If he had reported his disqualification to his sergeant immediately, he could have been put on other duties. He has lost his job for no particular reason.”
The former officer stood with his hands clasped as district judge Ian Strongman sentenced him to 12 weeks in prison.
“You should have known better” says judge
Judge Strongman said the officer, who resigned from the force last week, had committed a “gross and repeated flagrant breach” of the law. He said: “You had at least 12 points on your driving licence and as a serving police officer, you should have known better. “You had plenty of opportunity to realise your offending was going to get you in deep water.
“It is a tremendous coincidence that it was the day the press wrote about it in the paper that you decided to tell your sergeant.” The judge reduced Caffull’s custodial sentence from 18 weeks to 12 weeks in light of him pleading guilty at the earliest opportunity. Caffull was led away by custody officers after the judge decided not to suspend the 12-week sentence, telling him he must serve half of that in prison.
He was also disqualified from driving for 18 months. Kidderminster Magistrates Court (Image: Newsquest)
Gloucestershire Police statement
Speaking after the hearing, Detective Superintendent Alastair Stenner said: “Clearly Miles Caffull knew he was taking an incredible risk by continuing to drive police vehicles during this time. “He was flouting the laws he swore to uphold, putting the public at risk and bringing the Constabulary into disrepute every time he got behind the wheel.
“The sentence today reflects the seriousness of his offending and the disregard shown over such a long period. “In this case the misconduct proceedings could not be completed until the court outcome. “We will now look to fast track a gross misconduct hearing which will decide if the officer would have been dismissed if he was still serving.
“We are also reminding all officers of the very clear obligation on their part to report traffic offences internally and we will be reinforcing this message throughout the coming months.
“Officers are subject to re-vetting checks after a period of time and, in line with national policy, a data wash against national databases has recently been carried out in connection with all officers and staff to provide public confidence.
“Any information that suggests officers have not disclosed offences will be investigated and those officers subject to appropriate disciplinary proceedings.”