Drunken Pc's job on the line

A DRUNKEN Ipswich policeman could lose his job after he flashed his warrant card and made a terrified teenager drive him home.Paul Cook, 18, was at parked at Sainsbury's in Ranelagh Road, Ipswich, when the figure of PC Maxwell O'Rourke stepped out in front of him.

By Matt Eley

A DRUNKEN Woodbridge policeman could lose his job after he flashed his warrant card and made a terrified teenager drive him home.

Paul Cook, 18, was at parked at Sainsbury's in Ranelagh Road, Ipswich, when the figure of Pc Maxwell O'Rourke stepped out in front of him.

The 33-year-old officer demanded that Mr Cook drove him back to his Chantry home.


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Fearing for his safety, Mr Cook, of Nightingale Road, Ipswich, did as the intoxicated off-duty policeman asked and embarked on a 20-minute journey.

Speaking after the case Mr Cook described O'Rourke as "a big man who stank of booze."

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He said: "I didn't know who he was but he was a big man who looked like he could turn nasty, I was petrified at the time so I just did as I was told."

When they arrived at the destination, O'Rourke got out and ran down an alleyway while Mr Cook called the police.

O'Rourke, who is stationed in Woodbridge, pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates Court.

He was fined £100 and ordered to pay £100 compensation following the incident that happened in September. A public order offence charge was dropped by the prosecution.

O'Rourke could now lose his job after being suspended from duty impending an internal inquiry.

However Mr Cook, a trainee manager at Domino's Pizza, said the punishment does not fit the crime.

He said: "I think it's ridiculous. He basically hi-jacked my car and has only been charged with being drunk and disorderly.

"If he was a member of the public they would have thrown the book at him. The punishment doesn't measure up to what I have gone through."

The incident still gives the teenage victim nightmares.

He said: "I just try to forget about it now but the other day two policemen came into Domino's to get a pizza and they get a discount if they show their warrant cards, but when they got the cards out it just brought everything back."

However, Mr Cook did praise the officers who dealt with the case.

He said: "The police have been very good throughout this, ever since I first called them and right up to the court case."

A spokeswoman for Suffolk police said: "We can confirm that Police Constable Maxwell O'Rourke, a serving officer at the Suffolk Constabulary, pleaded guilty to a charge of being drunk and disorderly on at a hearing before Bury St Edmunds Magistrates Court on Tuesday April 16.

Mr O'Rourke declined to comment about the court case.

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