Off-Duty Sydney Cop Who Avoided RBT Now Heading To Jail
An off-duty Sydney police sergeant who was found guilty of using her rank and authority to avoid being randomly breath tested by a junior colleague has been sentenced to prison in a Sydney court.
Sarah Louise Johnston, 50, drove away from the RBT site without having been tested after a short conversation with the rookie officer at North Sydney on January 8, 2016.
She wept in the dock on Friday as Judge Christopher Hoy sentenced her to 16 months in jail with a non-parole period of 12 months.
"I consider the offender's conduct was disgraceful," he said at the Downing Centre District Court.
The trial heard Johnston drank at least one schooner of beer while celebrating the new year with colleagues from North Sydney Police Station at two nearby pubs.
She was driving home to the Central Coast when she was pulled over at a random breath testing site on the Pacific Highway at Crows Nest.
Two junior officers conducting the RBTs - Constable Cameron Brooks and Constable Tugcan Sackesen - immediately recognised her.
Const Sackesen gave evidence at the trial that Johnston first pulled her car up alongside Const Brooks but rolled forward towards him before Const Brooks could breath test her.
"Hi sergeant, you've just been stopped for a random breath test," Const Sackesen told her.
He said she replied: "You're not going to breath test me are you?"
"Yes sergeant I am," he said.
She allegedly said: "No because that would be a conflict of interest. Imagine if I blew over, which I won't, because I'm not."
He said she told him it would put him in an "awkward situation".
On Friday Judge Hoy said the experienced and well regarded supervisor set a "disgraceful example" that night.
Johnston will be eligible for release in December 2018.