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Last Updated: Monday, 23 January 2006, 13:47 GMT
Officer 'on sick' worked in Iraq
Officer earned 265 per day in Iraq
Officer earned 265 per day in Iraq
A police officer who worked as a bodyguard in Iraq while he was supposed to be on sick leave has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Detective Constable Charles Metcalfe, 40, of Newtownards PSNI Station, admitted two charges of false accounting of sickness certificates.

The court was told he worked in Iraq for 265 a day while he was supposed to be off through stress and depression.

Metcalfe was sentenced to 12 months in jail suspended for two years.

His defence lawyer said Metcalfe was under considerable private and domestic pressure at the time and he had gone to Iraq in a bid to ease the financial strain he was under.

The lawyer said it was the "worst decision of his life" and that he was trying to "ride two horses at once".

The judge said it was very sad to have a police officer in front of the court who had fallen from the high standards expected from a member of the PSNI.

He said the case amounted to a breach of trust made all the more serious because he was a serving police officer.


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