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Essex firefighter Shane Bennett from Rainham admits failing to give a breath specimen

By Lynn Cox

A firefighter was found slumped in his car after driving just yards to his home after a drinking session in his local pub.

Shane Bennett, 37, had even thrown up over himself when police found him in the driver's seat outside his house.

Bennett, who claimed through his solicitor that he was a station commander, was so drunk officers had to remove the keys from the ignition.

Maxwell appeared before magistrates in Medway.

Bennett, of Quinnell Street, Rainham, had earlier been drinking in the Manor Farm pub in Rainham High Street, which is just opposite Quinnell Street and about 100 yards from his home.

He was reported to the police by others who had seen him downing pints in the bar and then getting into his Fiesta.

Bennett was arrested and refused to give a breath sample to police. He was charged with failing to provide a specimen for analysis and admitted the offence when he appeared before magistrates in Medway.

Gavin Nicholls, prosecuting, said: "They [the police] found the car parked in Quinnell Street and he was still in the driver's seat. His chin was on his chest and he had been sick and they had to take the keys out of the ignition.

"He was arrested on suspicion of being over the limit and initially complied, but then said no he would not give a breath test."

Bennett has a similar previous conviction from July 2011.

The court also head Bennett, a father-of-two, admits to having an alcohol problem but he was now taking steps to address that and that the reason he refused to give a sample was because he knew he was over the limit.

Magistrates adjourned sentencing to July 8 for reports and warned Bennett they were looking at "all options".

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service would not comment on the case, but said Bennett was not a station commander as stated in court.

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