Traffic cop busted for speeding, drink driving

Anthony James Brett
Anthony James Brett Felicity Caldwell

UPDATE 3PM: AN IPSWICH police officer disqualified from driving has "the full support" of the Queensland Police Union.

Traffic Branch Sergeant Anthony James Brett pleaded guilty to multiple traffic charges in Ipswich Magistrates Court.

"It is hoped he will be able to return to full policing duties at the conclusion of his treatment," Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said

"Policing can be a confronting profession, where officers witness tragic events which can have long lasting and significant effects upon their health. 

"While the police department does offer counselling and support services, some officers in desperate need of assistance can slip through the cracks. 

"Unfortunately Sgt Brett was one such officer, and we are now doing all we can to support him, provide him with the necessary treatment, and to assist him in returning to work."

EARLIER: AN IPSWICH police officer has been disqualified from driving after he was clocked doing 90kmh in the CBD while more than double the legal alcohol limit.

Magistrate Deborah Vasta said Traffic Branch Sergeant Anthony James Brett was "equally deserving of compassion and forgiveness" and would be sentenced "like a normal person" in Ipswich Magistrates Court this morning.

Brett, 45, was caught speeding on Brisbane St shortly after 3.20am on August 6 before police watched him drive through a red light.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Rebecca McDonald said Safe City cameras caught Brett running a second red light in Lobb St.

She said the police dog squad tracked Brett to an address at Brassall where he provided three different versions of events including nominating two other people to have driven the car.

He was taken to Ipswich Police Station for breath testing where he stuffed a tissue in his mouth, forcing the test to be delayed.

Close to three hours after first attracting the attention of police, Brett recorded a blood alcohol content of 0.133%.

Defence lawyer Troy Schmidt said Brett suffered undiagnosed mental health conditions after Andrew John Bornen, a boy he handcuffed was run over and killed in 2009.

Brett was not charged with any wrongdoing over the 16-year-old's death.

"He did actually witness the young person run over and saw his head and chest go under the wheels," Mr Schmidt said.

"To make matters worse there was an inquest and civil proceedings."

Mr Schmidt said Brett, a traffic branch officer for the past 24 years, self medicated with alcohol.

He said Brett would be subject to internal discipline which could amount to a demotion or pay cut.

"It's difficult to say what it could be," Mr Schmidt said.

Brett pleaded guilty to five charges including drink driving, obstruct police, failing to stop at a traffic light, speeding and driving without due care and attention.

Ms Vasta said Brett was "equally deserving of compassion and forgiveness".

"It is true we hold police to a high standard but it is also true you are a human being and people do stupid things," she said.

"Balanced against the very high standard police are held to is the fact you have a very highly decorated work history.

"You had a fairly unblemished career and this incident could have potentially changed the course of your life.

"As a traffic officer you know this could have been so much worse, there is no benefit in me lecturing you, you know what the consequences could have been."

She said the teenager's death and the inquest "obviously had a lasting impact".

"There is a potential you continue to feel some regret or some remorse," Ms Vasta said.

Brett was fined $1800 and disqualified from holding or obtaining a drivers licence for three months.

A conviction for the obstruct police charge was not recorded.

Topics:  ipswich ipswich court ipswich crime

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