13/07/2011 | 03:10 PM | click here to read the article online
Gold Coast’s best cop fined for drink-driving
A police officer named the Gold Coast’s best has been fined for drink-driving.
But the officer dodged a conviction that could have resulted in him being kicked out of the force.
Constable Michael Froggatt, who won Rotary’s Gold Coast policeman of the year award in 2010, pleaded guilty to driving with a blood alcohol reading of 0.085 on Sunday.
Magistrate Terry Duroux decided not to record a conviction, something that would have ended Froggatt’s policing career.
Mr Duroux noted Froggatt still faces police disciplinary proceedings, which could result in sanctions, loss of rank and a pay cut.
Froggatt’s lawyer Bill Potts argued against a police prosecutor’s call for a conviction to be recorded.
“The police force is not an organisation of perfection,” he told the Southport Magistrates Court on Wednesday.
“It is made up of individuals who carry the same human failings, weaknesses and traits all flesh is heir to.”
Mr Potts said his client, who has been stood down from active duty, had expressed “real and palpable regret” for his actions.
He knew he’d let himself, the public and the Queensland Police Service down, the lawyer said.
While not trying to excuse his client’s actions, Mr Potts said the officer had just completed two 13-hour shifts and was due back at work 11 hours later.
“We ask a lot of our police officers,” Mr Potts said.
Last year Froggatt was honoured with the Rotary Gold Coast Police Officer of the Year Award.
“I am aware my actions in this incident have brought dishonour to myself, my family and my fellow officers,” Froggatt said in a letter of apology, read to the court.
“I wish to bring no further disrespect to the Queensland Police Service.”