NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA – A POLICE officer from the New South Wales south coast sacked for getting so drunk he wrecked two cars and asked a colleague to fake a breath test for him has won his job back.
Kiama Senior Constable Adam McDonald, 35, got so inebriated at a local ping-pong competition in January 2009 that when he drove home he totalled a parked car before smashing into a retaining wall, a court was told.
When the owner of the smashed car called police, Mr McDonald asked his colleagues to classify the crash as a “minor incident” and told them he would walk home.
They refused and arrested Mr McDonald, who they discovered had a penis drawn on his left cheek with a permanent marker.
The Industrial Court heard the officer was taken to Kiama Police Station where he asked another officer to take a breath test in his place before returning a blood alcohol reading of 0.205.
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He was sacked in December 2009 by NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione, a known teetotaller, who was furious about the incident.
But Mr McDonald has won his job back after challenging his sacking in the Industrial Court of NSW.
The court heard that on the day of the crash Mr McDonald had been at a golf and poker day at Kiama Golf Club where he drank four schooners of beer over four hours. He then bought a 750ml bottle of bourbon and went to the ping-pong competition located “two to three” kilometres from his home.
After passing out at the competition, Mr McDonald woke up and attempted to drive home when he hit the parked car, according to the court judgment.
Police arrived at the scene on Meehan Drive and found a parked car had been “extensively damaged” with the bumper ripped off and the engine exposed.
Mr McDonald appeared to be heavily intoxicated, court documents said. He was “observed… as having drawings of penises on the left side of his face and on his left leg, apparently drawn with a black marker”, court documents said.
He had the words “F*k the police” written on his back and his fly was undone, the court heard.
According to police, Mr McDonald was abusive and tried to use his position to have officers cover-up the incident.
Mr McDonald told the court he remembered little of the night.
He said people he didn’t know were mixing his drinks and that they could have spiked them with drugs or large quantities of alcohol.
In court, Judge Wayne Haylen accepted the submissions and said the sacking was harsh.
He said Mr McDonald would have felt “fear and concern” when he awoke to find people drawing on him which may have “caused him to drive his vehicle when he otherwise would not have done so”.Judge Haylen also said Mr McDonald, a father of three, was remorseful, had apologised and attended alcohol counselling.
He also said Mr McDonald was at risk of losing his house after being suspended without pay for 15 months.