A POLICE officer sped home from a disciplinary meeting with force chiefs at 100mph and while he was more than seven times over the drink drive limit.
Detective Simon Reader crashed during the 250-mile journey home after spending most of the previous day binge drinking and topping up in the car with a bottle of gin.
He was told there was serious consideration being given to – and the probability – that he would be dismissed by Police ScotlandSolicitor George Donnelly
Motorists had to swerve out of Reader’s way as he weaved in and out of traffic at 100mph on the dual carriageway.
Reader admitted dangerous and drunken driving but walked free from court yesterday after blaming the stress of his job with Police Scotland for having a mental breakdown.
Perth Sheriff Court was told Reader had been called to a meeting with his superiors on 21 January and warned that he could face losing his job because of “health issues”.
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He then went back to his hotel room and spent the rest of the afternoon and evening drinking “very, very heavily” before setting off from Aberdeen the following morning.
Fiscal depute Robbie Brown told the court that during a 30-mile stretch from Dundee to the M90 near Perth he forced several motorists to swerve to avoid a collision.
He said: “He swerved and lost control, mounting the central reservation, striking the barrier and crossing both lanes before coming to rest partly on the hard shoulder and partly on the lane facing north.”
Mr Brown said Reader initially gave a breath sample at the roadside which measured 157 mics – more than seven times the 22 mics limit.
Solicitor George Donnelly said Reader’s marriage began to falter and “pressure within work” led to him suffering a nervous breakdown in 2012.
“On the day before this incident he had been called to a meeting and told that given his ill health there was serious consideration being given to – and the probability – that he would be dismissed by Police Scotland. That impacted deeply upon him. He would seem to have resorted to alcohol.”
Sheriff William Wood told him: “You should regard yourself as fortunate that you are not going to prison.”
Reader, 45, Cockton Hill Road, Bishop Auckland, was banned from driving for three years and placed on a 7pm to 7am curfew for six months.