In what could be the first case of its kind, a drunk driver has written a letter thanking the very police officer who had arrested him and put him behind bars.
The 45-year-old driver, whose name hasn't been revealed, was found driving under the influence of alcohol in Upminster, Essex, England, in 2014. He was spotted and immediately apprehended by an on-duty cop.
A year on and having paid the legal price of his infringement, he is grateful to the cop who suspected he was drunk and saved him from making a bigger mistake than he did.
Addressing the Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the unnamed driver wrote: “On September 20th 2014 I was stopped by one of you officers in Upminster, A PC Martin Gillett, a traffic officer based at Chadwell Heath, for a routine traffic violation.
“He smelt alcohol on my breath and subsequently breathalyser me, for which I failed. I was arrested and taken to Romford Police Station and taken through the procedure on the intoximeter - I think that’s what it is called.
“But I would like to say that during this time, even though I had done wrong I was treated with courtesy and respect by all of your officers. I was bailed and asked to return to the police station at a later date as they had to wait for the analysis of a urine sample taken from me as my reading was between 40-48mg.
“A few weeks later when I returned, PC Gillett told me I was going to be charged and guided me through the procedure. I shook his hand and thanked him for stopping me that night, and he looked puzzled. Your officers do a fantastic job and I think he saved me from going down a path I was heading for.
“I have learnt a very valuable lesson and will never attempt to combine the two again. If I drink I won’t drive and if I drive I won’t drink. I just wanted you to know this officer is a credit to the Metropolitan Police.”
The cop in question, officer Gillett, termed the driver's gesture as heartwarming before adding: “The chap had been arrested and was ultimately charged. So to receive thanks is very rare indeed. He was very compliant and humble from the start and gave me the impression he knew what he did was very, very wrong.”
Too err is human, but it's refreshing to see that there are those in this world who are big enough to admit when they go wrong and not be all bigoted and resistant all the time.