Published: 15:44, 24 June 2019
| Updated: 16:23, 24 June 2019
A Kent Police officer's misconduct hearing has been thrown into disarray after resigning days before it started.
A panel was due to hear details today of an incident where PC Paul Tincello failed to arrest a driver who was close to double the legal alcohol limit in Tunbridge Wells last year.
On Friday PC Tincello, who has been signed off with stress and anxiety, resigned from his position at Kent Police.
Despite his notice period keeping him as an employee of Kent Police until July 18, PC Tincello decided not to show at today's hearing.
The resigning officer had sent a letter with his account of the incident, along with questions to be asked of witnesses, including other police officers, to the Kent Police Federation.
Dan Pearce, general secretary of Kent Police Federation, told a panel this afternoon: "As members of the police force ourselves, it's not appropriate for us to cross examine a colleague.
"PC Tincello was given the opportunity to be here."
It is alleged PC Tincello did not arrest a driver after taking a reading of 65mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath at the scene of a crash in Tunbridge Wells last July. The legal limit is 35mg.
PC Tincello is said to have told a superior officer the driver was "slightly over" the legal limit.
When his sergeant asked what this meant, PC Tincello reportedly said the suspect would likely be under the limit once taken to hospital for treatment.
In hospital the suspect was arrested by another officer.
Simon Walsh, acting on behalf of Kent Police, told the panel PC Tincello avoided the arrest as he needed to finish on time on the night in question.
The hearing was adjourned shortly after Mr Pearce's comments, after a morning of adjournments and false starts.
Chairing the panel, Claire Harrington said: "It's incredibly frustrating. We're half a day into a hearing and have made no substantial progress at all."
The hearing has been adjourned until tomorrow to give PC Tincello a chance to either turn up or find a representative who can cross examine witnesses on his behalf.
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