A jury has found a former British policewoman not guilty of stealing a mobile phone, after deciding she was too drunk to know what she was doing.
Ceri Ann Rees, 35, had drunk “quite a few” double vodkas at Aspers Casino in Wind Street, Swansea with friends for a colleague’s retirement celebrations in 2011. The trial had previously heard that before arriving at the casino, the group had also been drinking in Swansea’s Pump House, Bank Statement and Adelphi bars.
CCTV in the casino building captured Rees entering through a door marked “staff only”, to then rummage through two handbags.
Rees, then a serving officer of the Dyfed Powys police force, was seen returning to the restaurant area with a phone and a charger, which she concealed under the top she was wearing. The phone was retrieved after a colleague removed it from her top and returned it to the staff member.
Following the incident she was arrested and charged with burglary, after entering an area designated solely for staff. She described herself as heavily intoxicated and woke up the next day thinking she was having a nightmare.
Rees, who was off duty during the incident, told the jury yesterday: “I can remember drinking double vodkas in the Bank Statement then waking up under a blanket in a police cell.
“It was my worst nightmare. I couldn’t believe where I was. I rubbed my eyes hoping that if I opened them I’d be somewhere else.”
Rees, who has always maintained that she did not intend to steal the phone, burst into tears when the jury returned their verdict. Swansea Crown Court took just 40 minutes to find her not guilty.
She was dismissed from her position as a Dyfed Powys Police constable for misconduct two months after the incident.